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National Front will need to change deeply, Marine Le Pen

media Marine Le Pen concedes defeat at the Chalet du Lac in the Bois de Vincennes in Paris on 7 May, 2017. Fuente: Reuters.

Defeated French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen claimed the result of the runoff on Sunday was a "historic, massive" result for her National Front (FN) party. But she added the FN would have to "renew itself profoundly to be equal to this historic opportunity and the expectations expressed by the French in this second round."

"I suggest we begin a profound transformation of our movement to create a new political force," she said.

Meanwhile, the party’s deputy leader Florian Philippot said on TF1 television that the National Front "is going to transform itself into a new political force which, by definition, will no longer have the same name."

Centrist Emmanuel Macron won by an estimated 65 per cent of the vote cast to Le Pen’s 35 per cent.

Nationalist Le Pen’s take on the election was that it was a fight between "patriots" against "globalists".

The party however now looks set for some internal feuding.

Le Pen’s niece and National Assembly MP, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, said she felt a "certain amount of disappointment" at the result and said it was time to "reflect".

She added: "Marine Le Pen was right to say, even if that came late, that leaving the euro was not a pre-condition to all our economic policies and that she would hold a referendum."

"We clearly didn't manage to get this election to be understood as a referendum for or against France, a referendum for or against immigration ... for or against the
European Union as we know it."

And Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine’s father and the FN’s founder, warned the party had to "remain true" to its core principles. "I think we must speak to France about the real problems, demographic problems, problems of mass immigration," he told RTL radio.

Marine Le Pen took over from her father in 2011 and has worked hard to try to change its racist image and become mainstream.

But the move has also alienated die-hard supporters, especially among loyalists of her father, who was expelled from the party in 2015.

To read our French presidential election 2017 coverage click here.

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