Paris: Pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron promised Sunday to heal France's divisions after crushing far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a pivotal presidential election that has given him a large but fragile mandate for change.
At 39, the pro-EU former investment banker will become France's youngest-ever leader but faces a huge challenge to enact his programme while trying to unite a fractured and demoralised country.
"I will fight with all my strength against the divisions that are undermining us," Macron said in a solemn address at his campaign headquarters.
As the extent of his resounding victory sank in, Macron told a sea of jubilant supporters waving French flags outside the Louvre Museum in Paris: "Tonight, France won."
Almost definitive results showed Macron winning 65.82 percent of the vote in the first ever election he has contested, far ahead of the nationalist Le Pen at 34.18 percent.
The result brought to a close a tumultuous and polarized campaign that defied prediction at nearly every turn, although not at the end. Pre-election polls had forecast a sizable Macron victory, and he delivered - winning some 66 percent of the vote.
The landslide was just the latest blow in 2017 for far-right movements that had seemed to be on the march last year but have suffered setbacks in recent months across continental Europe.
In a pointed endorsement of European unity, Macron strode to the stage at his raucous victory party in the grand central courtyard of Paris's Louvre Museum on Sunday night to the strains of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" theme, the European Union's anthem.
"The task that awaits us, my fellow citizens, is immense and it starts tomorrow," Macron said as thousands of supporters cheered and waved French flags.
Western leaders largely hailed the result after the shock of Britain's vote to leave the EU and the election of Donald Trump in the United States.