From maverick disruptor to Brexit bad cop: Ten moments that defined Emmanuel Macron’s first term as president

Emmanuel Macron ascended the steps of the Élysée Palace to become France’s new president after an extraordinary rise to power.

He was greeted by François Hollande, a Socialist president whose popularity ratings were so low that he did not even run for a second term.

Less than a year earlier, Mr Macron had quit as Mr Hollande’s economy minister to form his own centrist party En Marche! (Forward!).

French politics had long been dominated by the centre-Right and centre-Left parties, the Republicans and the Socialist Party.

Now, a maverick disruptor who claimed to be neither Right or Left would assume the country’s most powerful office at just 39 years old.

Mr Macron had managed to attract key figures from the two traditional parties; dealing both a blow that they continue to struggle to overcome to this day.

“I will ensure our country experiences a revival of democratic vitality. Citizens will have their word to say. Their voices will be heard,” Mr Macron said in his inauguration speech

In a sign of his success in hollowing out support for both the centre-Left and centre-Right, his opponent in the second round of the 2017 elections was the hard-Right candidate, Marine Le Pen, as is the case on Sunday.

He completed an astonishing rise to power after trouncing Ms Le Pen with a two-thirds majority in the second round.

Mr Macron offered change for voters but the former investment banker was already facing accusations that he would be a leader for the rich. Despite that, the Left flocked to him rather than give Ms Le Pen the keys to the Élysée.

The youngest president in France’s history had positioned himself as the only leader who could stop the surge of the hard-Right, which was making gains across Europe. But by claiming the centre so successfully, his success radicalised French politics.

Hard-Left and hard-Right parties in France have never enjoyed as much success, while the two traditional parties fared so badly in the elections both fell below the five per cent vote threshold to have their campaign expenses reimbursed.

2. May 25, 2017: Handshakes at dawn 

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