French election: Marine Le Pen concedes defeat and declares Front National needs to change
Leader says the Front National needs ‘to change’ into a new movement after the defeat
(Independent) –Marine Le Pen has conceded defeat to Emmanuel Macron after the first projected results showed she had been convincingly beaten in the French presidential election.
She held her event for the result, which few realistically expected to be a victory party, at Chalêt du Lac, on the edge of the Bois de Vincennes, in the 12th district of Paris.
Security here is tight, with police cars and patrols blocking most of the streets leading to the venue and security keeping an eye on all members of the public.
Inside, journalists were themselves closely watched, told to stay in a press pen in one corner and forbidden to move among the Front National activists until after Marine Le Pen had given her speech.
Earlier, the mood among Ms Le Pen’s supporters here was quite different to the jubilant scenes two weeks ago in Hénin-Beaumont, when she successfully advanced from the first round.
Blue roses, an emblem of Ms Le Pen’s campaign, were offered to each activist upon their arrival. They accepted them but most refused to answer any questions. They were aware that the latest polls were not in Ms Le Pen’s favour.
A mother and her two daughters, all smartly dressed for the occasion agreed to talk to The Independent. They were still optimistic for their candidate “whatever the polls say”.
Asked how they would feel if Ms Le Pen lost, the mother replied: “It will still be a success because she has managed to get there by herself, it’s amazing what she achieved. There are still the legislative elections, and we will continue this great dynamism.”
Rosie Nahounou, a 40-year-old event organiser, said she would be happy even if Ms Le Pen lost. “I am happy, it is the victory of the people against capitalism, against this finance which has no feelings, it is heartless. Being in the second round is a victory.”