Far-Right National Rally Leads in French Parliamentary Elections

Far-Right National Rally Leads in French Parliamentary Elections
Far-Right National Rally Leads in French Parliamentary Elections

The National Rally party Marine Le Pen’s far-right has taken the lead count in the first round of France’s parliamentary elections. According to early projections and exit polls, the National Rally (RN) has secured around 34% of the vote, placing them ahead of both President Emmanuel Macron’s Centrist Ensemble and the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP).

In the first round of voting, the National Rally (RN) garnered 33.14% of the vote, while the NFP followed with 27.99%. Macron’s Ensemble coalition trailed behind with 20.76%. This is a significant increase for the RN, which only achieved 18% in the 2022 elections.

Marine Le Pen addressed her supporters in Henin-Beaumont, northern France, emphasizing the importance of the upcoming second round on July 7. She urged her followers to remain cautious and to mobilize for the next vote. Le Pen warned that nothing is won yet and that the second round will determine the final outcome.

President Macron, anticipating a potential defeat, has called for a “Democratic and Republican Alliance” to counter the RN. The Centrist Ensemble is expected to fall to third place, with exit polls predicting they will secure between 60 and 90 seats. The NFP is projected to win between 180 and 200 seats, while the RN could secure 240 to 270 seats.

France’s semi-presidential system means that even if the National Rally (RN) wins the most seats, they will need to form alliances to achieve an absolute majority of 289 seats in the National Assembly. The National Rally (RN) might seek to ally with smaller parties and the Conservative Republican Party, which is expected to win 30 to 50 seats.

Jordan Bardella, the 29-year-old protégé of Marine Le Pen and the leader of the National Rally, has gained popularity, especially among younger voters on TikTok. He has expressed optimism about their chances, warning of the dangers posed by the left-wing coalition led by Jean-Luc Melenchon. Bardella urged his supporters to rally ahead of the second round, saying that victory is possible.

The final results of the parliamentary elections will be decided in the runoff round on July 7. If the National Rally (RN) emerges as the largest party, Macron may be compelled to appoint Bardella as prime minister, a rare occurrence in French political history.

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