5 things to know about French president-elect Emmanuel Macron

According to Richard Ferrand, the En Marche! campaign manager, the organization has so far managed to attract 285,000 members.

Now Macron faces not only the formidable task of identifying, without party backing, a prime minister and agency heads, but also the challenge of winning support from the majority of some 577 new national legislators.

With the leftwing movement, La France insoumise, facing the same uncertainty, En Marche and the Republicans may dominate with two or three other minor political forces in power.

Two polls showed that En Marche would top the first round of the June election with 24-26 percent of the vote, ahead of the Republicans with 22 percent and the FN 21-22 percent.

The euro climbed to $1.1022, its highest level in six months and its first break above $1.10 since the US presidential election.

The poll, for M6 television, also found Le Pen's supporters to be far more convinced by their candidate's policies and qualities: 56 percent of Le Pen voters found that she spoke to their concerns, while only 21 percent of Macron voters said the same of him.

Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France.

Indeed, a record number of voters, around 9 percent, cast a blank ballot, many in protest to what they saw as a choice between a far-right extremist and a former investment banker turned Socialist, turned centrist with little political experience.

"This majority for change is what the country wants and what it deserves", Macron told supporters on Sunday.

Braud warned that a high score by his Unbowed rebels, who have vowed to block Macron's labour reforms, could make for an "ungovernable assembly". "I understand the anger, the anxiety, the doubts that a great part among us have also expressed". Even ordinary citizens, despite largely recognizing that the system is dysfunctional, often resist change, for fear of losing whatever they do have. Their candidate, Benoit Hamon, secured only six percent of the vote in the first round on April 23.

And the huge margin by which Macron won shows that the country may not be quite as divided as many had thought.

Pascal Gannat, an FN regional councilor, told France Bleu radio that Le Pen's anti-euro stance and her desire for France to quit the European Union were a "scarecrow" for both left-wing and right-wing voters.

Le Pen is counting on failure because the problems are hard to mend quickly.

"If Macron fails, then the next president will be Marine Le Pen and we need to prevent this at all costs", he added.

At the same time, Merkel will be aware that Macron's victory might provide nothing more than a breathing space. Around 25% of registered voters abstained, the highest this century, while nearly 9% cast blank or spoiled ballots.

Like Chirac - who faced Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie, in the second round in 2002 - Macron won the runoff by a landslide not because he swept French voters off their feet, but because many could not bring themselves to vote for the National Front.

Beyond a long to-do list on domestic issues, Macron will have to deal with fractures in the wider region, including Russia's increasing hostility toward Europe.

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

"Against this backdrop, it is especially important to overcome mutual distrust and unite efforts to ensure worldwide stability and security", he said.

"Macron's win now means Italian issues won't be obscured by French shadows", said Rabobank strategist Richard McGuire.

Macron had campaigned on a pro-EU platform, in stark contrast to Le Pen, who vowed to pull France out of the union in a referendum, as Britain voted to do past year.

Merkel congratulated Macron on Sunday's "spectacular" election victory and said he "carried the hopes of millions" in France and Germany and elsewhere in Europe.