An extraordinary journey by a political novice who defies all the rules
They were looking confident at Macron towers as the seconds ticked down towards 8pm local time, and they had every right to be.
Emmanuel Macron, the exit polls confirmed, has completed one of the most extraordinary political journeys of modern times, a Trumpian exploit, ripping up the rules of contemporary politics to ditch his party and lead a personal movement, a centrist mash-up of right and left, which now seems almost certain to carry him to the presidential Élysée Palace.
Arise President Macron. We can say that with some confidence because he will face Marine Le Pen in the head-to-head second round. Of course, her success should really be the jaw-dropping result of this first round of voting.