French Far-Right on the Brink of Power as Election Uncertainty Looms

Business | July 1, 2024, Monday // 09:17
Bulgaria: French Far-Right on the Brink of Power as Election Uncertainty Looms

Marine Le Pen's National Rally party, led by the young Jordan Bardella, secured the lead in the first round of historic French parliamentary elections, potentially setting the stage for the far-right to gain power for the first time since World War II, AFP reported. The National Rally achieved 33.5% support, ahead of the left-wing coalition "New Popular Front" with 28.5%, and President Emmanuel Macron's party with 22.1%.

Thousands of people gathered in several French cities to protest against the far-right's rise, DPA reported. Demonstrations took place in Paris, where people gathered in the Place de la République following a call by the New Popular Front coalition, led by the far-left France Insubordinate party. Protests also occurred in Nantes, Dijon, Lille, and Marseille, with French media reporting clashes between demonstrators and police in Lyon.

The French far-right is on the brink of power, but the outcome of the second round on July 7 remains uncertain.

Yesterday's record turnout, unseen in three decades, resulted in a record number of candidates qualifying for the runoff. In 300 constituencies, the contest will be between three political forces. Last night, far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon announced that his third-place candidates would withdraw in favor of others against the far-right. Meanwhile, President Macron's fractured camp lacks a unified strategy over choosing between the far-left and far-right. The moderate-right "Republicans," with 10%, will not provide voting instructions.

To achieve a full majority, as Marine Le Pen called for last night, the far-right needs to secure 289 parliamentary seats, a goal that now seems within reach. The traditional "republican front," where left and right-wing parties unite in run-off elections against the far-right, appears less systematic than in the past, suggesting the National Rally party might gain a relative, if not an absolute, majority on June 30.

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Tags: elections, far-right, French, National Rally

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