Macron win boosts hopes of turn in populist tide

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Launching the Conservative candidates for London and the South East, the Prime Minister reiterated her demand for the British people to strengthen her hand for Brexit talks, while also again reiterating her commitment to a net migration target of less than 100,000.

Macron's emphatic victory - he won around 66 percent compared to Le Pen's 34 percent - has brought relief to European allies who feared another populist upheaval to follow Britain's vote to quit the EU and Donald Trump's election as U.S. president.

Valls said Macron's victory Sunday over far-right leader Marine Le Pen it was a blow to populism across Europe that gave a "terrific" image of France to countries overseas.

The economic policies of Macron, a former banker who at 39 will be the youngest president in the history of the Fifth Republic of France, differ significantly from those of the Socialist Party.

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Macron to bridge deep rifts between Moscow and Paris and work together to fight the threat of terror.

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The Republicans, whose defeated presidential candidate Francois Fillon was hobbled by charges that his family benefited from taxpayer-funded jobs, still could emerge as the nation's strongest political party.

Without the votes to push through his agenda, including labor reforms, Macron will find himself in political limbo.

On Monday, several thousand people led by the powerful CGT labor federation marched in protest against Macron's planned liberalization of labor laws.

Valls told RTL radio that France's Socialist party "is dead and behind us" and said he wants to join Macron's Republic on the Move to run for a seat in parliament.

He said the life of minorities in France would have been hard if Le Pen was elected President due to her extreme views on public display of religious symbols.

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Monday also marked decades of peace in Western Europe, something Macron made a cornerstone of his campaign against Le Pen's brand of nationalist populism.

Investors had plenty of time to prepare for a Macron win.

Macron's victory is a relief for Germany, the main defender of the European Union against rising anti-establishment sentiment on the right and left of the political spectrum.

In a party where the Le Pen family as always called the shots, Ms Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie, and her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen, a rising star and National Front lawmaker, said her campaign had not been convincing enough and had been undermined by its position on the Euro.

A majority of voters oppose ditching the euro, which is at the heart of the party's economic programme. In the short term, a swing to the right and a pro-populist majority in the French parliamentary elections in June could yet undermine the strength of the German mainstream parties ahead of their own September election.

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