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Macron’s bloc comes third in French election

The right-wing National Rally secured the lead in the first round of a snap vote on Sunday

The French right-wing National Rally (RN) party and its allies have secured the lead in the first round of snap parliamentary elections, winning over 33% of the vote, according to final results published by the Interior Ministry on Monday.

President Emmanuel Macron called early parliamentary elections after the RN’s strong performance in last month’s vote for the European Parliament. The force formerly led by Marine Le Pen and now by Jordan Bardella won 30 of the 81 French seats in the EU legislature.

In the latest poll following the first round of voting in France on Sunday, the newly-created left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) finished second with 28%, while Macron’s centrist Ensemble bloc won 20% of the vote.

The RN and NFP have secured 37 and 32 seats respectively in the 577-strong legislature, while Macron’s party has received just two. A candidate needs to receive over half of the vote to win in the first round. If none does, any candidate who reaches the 12.5% threshold enters a run-off which will be held on June 7.

READ MORE: National Rally set for historic election victory in France – exit poll

Projections by French media predict that the RN will ultimately win between 230 and 280 seats in the National Assembly, compared to the 149 seats it previously had.

Turnout at the weekend was notably higher than two years ago, when French voters last selected representatives for the national parliament. The ministry reported a participation rate of 59%, compared to 39% in 2022. The ballot two years ago was also a setback for Macron supporters as his party lost its absolute majority.

The president’s move to force an early vote this year has been described as a gamble which has backfired, after often-divided left-wing French political forces mobilized and presented a united front. According to Le Figaro sources, Macron is considering whether to dissolve the freshly-elected legislature.

July 01, 2024 at 01:54PM

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