Paris (AFP) – Emmanuel Macron won 66.1 percent of the vote against 33.9 percent for far-right leader Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election, final results from the interior ministry showed on Monday.
Macron received a total of 20,753,797 votes, compared with 10,644,118 for Marine Le Pen, the ministry announced the day after the landmark election.
The abstention rate was 25.44 percent, the highest since the presidential election in 1969.
The interior ministry on Sunday reported a record number of blank and invalid ballots, accounting for nine percent of all registered voters, compared with two percent in the first round.
Together with the abstention rate, that means that one in three voters declined to choose between the two candidates.
The abstention rate was 22.23 percent for during the first round of the election on April 23, making it the first time since the 1969 election that turnout was lower in the second round than in the first.
Casting a blank ballot — traditionally used by disgruntled French voters as a protest vote — usually increases in the second round.
But this year it quadrupled, thanks in part to an unprecedented situation of neither the two mainstream left-leaning or right-leaning parties making it to the run-off.
<figure><figcaption>A French citizen walks past election posters of French presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen before casting his vote at the French consulate in Tel Aviv on May 7, 2017 <span>Copyright AFP Jack GUEZ</span> </figcaption></figure>