Far right wins in first round of French elections


France’s far-right National Rally (RN) party has achieved a decisive victory in the first round of the country’s snap parliamentary elections. According to pollsters IFOP, Ipsos, OpinionWay, and Elabe, Marine Le Pen’s RN secured about 34% of the vote. The left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) coalition garnered around 29%, while President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble alliance obtained approximately 20.5%.

france election

This outcome positions the National Rally to potentially form a government. However, political forces across the spectrum have indicated plans to collaborate in blocking the far-right party in the second-round vote on July 7. Macron’s unexpected call for a snap election, following RN’s surge in the European Parliament elections last month, was a gamble that the anti-immigration party would not replicate that success on a national level. At Henin-Beaumont, Le Pen’s supporters celebrated, waving French flags and singing the national anthem, as she proclaimed the French people’s desire to move past a “contemptuous and corrosive power.”

National Rally President Jordan Bardella highlighted the significance of the upcoming second round, calling it “the most important in the history of the French Fifth Republic.” Meanwhile, Macron has urged for a “broad democratic alliance” to counter the far right. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal and left-wing leader Jean-Luc Melenchon also emphasised the necessity of uniting to prevent the RN from gaining power. As the political landscape braces for the decisive second round, the possibility of RN forming an absolute majority remains uncertain.