"The largest share of the vote went to Macron, a blue-eyed reformer who's easy to like. He is, without a doubt, a political phenomenon. Once part of a Socialist government that has been thoroughly rejected by voters, he launched an independent party he called En Marche!, styled himself as nonestablishment, and campaigned as a changemaker who could bring in outsiders and parley with insiders. His success on Sunday is a salve to markets and a sign that the natural order of things hasn't been entirely disrupted," Therese Raphael writes for Bloomberg View.
"Investors are clearly relieved with the result that put Macron into the second round. But political risk is likely to remain an endemic feature in European and global markets, and European policymakers face a full calendar of challenges over the course of the year without a compelling vision about how to address the populist pressures sweeping the region," writes CFR's Robert Kahn.
"Although many observers have focused on the rise of far-right politics in Europe, the real story of the French presidential race, and of European politics more broadly, is the failure of centrists to effectively respond to the challenge from either extreme. Center-right parties, including France's Républicains, are taking the biggest hit as the far right sweeps up conservative voters," Alina Polyakova writes for Foreign Affairs.