The far right won this Sunday, June 30, 2024, the first round of crucial legislative elections in Francein which the centre-right forces of President Emmanuel Macron came in third place behind the left, according to initial estimates.

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The far-right National Rally party (RN) of Marine Le Pen and its allies would achieve around 33% of the vote, but They will have to wait until the second round on July 7 to find out if they will achieve an absolute majority in the National Assembly. (low camera).

“We need an absolute majority,” Le Pen told supporters in her fiefdom of Hénin-Beaumont in northern France, where she was re-elected as a member of parliament. The French “have delivered a resounding verdict,” said her candidate for prime minister, Jordan Bardella, from Paris.

Macron’s alliance would achieve around 22% of votesbehind the left-wing coalition New Popular Front (NFP), which would obtain around 28%, according to estimates by the polling institutes Ifop and Ipsos.

The coming to power of the extreme right, for the first time since the liberation of France from the occupation of Nazi Germany in 1945, would add a new country to the European Union (EU) governed by this trend, such as Italy.

And it could weaken Macron’s Ukraine support policy. Although Le Pen’s party, whose detractors consider her close to Vladimir Putin’s Russia, assures that it supports kyiv, it emphasizes that it wants to avoid an escalation with Moscow.

Sample of a vote perceived as historic, at 5:00 p.m., three hours before the closing of the polling stations, Participation reached 59.39% of voters20 points more than at the same time in 2022, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

The electoral system itself makes the final composition of the National Assembly uncertain, where the three blocs that emerged from the 2022 elections will continue, but with a new relationship of forces.

Its 577 deputies are elected in single-member constituencies, using a two-round majority system. Depending on the results of each constituency, two, three or more candidates may qualify for the second round.

Retire or stay?

Pressure on RN’s rivals has intensified, especially as early projections for Sunday suggest a simple majority or an absolute majority for the far right and its allies in the lower house.

“Tonight, our democracy and republican values ​​are at stake… It is imperative to block the far right“, He said ex-union leader Laurent Berger, calling on parties to withdraw in the event of a run-off with three candidates in order to increase the chances of the best-placed candidate against a far-right rival.

Socialists, environmentalists and communists, allies of La Francia Insumisa (LFI, radical left) in the NFP, already assured during the campaign that they would withdraw if their candidates entered the second round in third position behind an official candidate.

The leader of LFI, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, assured that his candidates would also do so in those constituencies in which the RN came first.

However, the ruling party is divided on whether to withdraw to favor LFI, a party they consider “anti-Semitic”, over the far right.

Call for the second round of legislative elections in France

Macron, whose popularity fell due to the early elections, called for a “broad” alliance against the extreme right, “clearly Democratic and Republican”, during the second round, implicitly prioritizing a case-by-case policy.

“The extreme right is at the gates of power“, “no vote should go to RN,” said the Prime Minister Gabriel Attalwithout clarifying the position on LFI either.

The traditional right-wing party Les Républiques (LR), which split in mid-June when its president Eric Ciotti made a pact with RN, has refused to call for the far right to isolate itself.

“We do not give voting instructions,” said the leadership of the party opposed to Ciotti. Estimates gave him 10% of votes in the first round.

Macronwhose mandate ends in 2027, caused the early elections following RN’s victory in the European elections in France and now risks sharing power with a government of another political color, less than a month before the Paris Olympic Games.

Bardella said that if they achieve an absolute majority, he will be the prime minister of “all the French people” and “uncompromising in the policy” he will implement.

His rivals warn of the risk of the far right coming to power, as it has worked hard in the past decade to tone down the image inherited from its founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, known for his racist and anti-Semitic comments.

Marine Le Pen said that “dozens” of her deputies had already won their seats in the first round.

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