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Far-Right Leads First Round Of France Election, Show Exit Polls

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Far-Right Leads First Round Of France Election, Show Exit Polls

Participation in Sunday’s vote was high

Paris, France:

Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) party emerged ahead in the first round of France’s parliamentary elections on Sunday, exit polls showed, but the unpredictable final result will depend on days of horsetrading before next week’s run-off.

The RN was seen winning around 34% of the vote, exit polls from Ipsos, Ifop, OpinionWay and Elabe showed.

That was ahead of leftist and centrist rivals, including President Emmanuel Macron’s Together alliance, whose bloc was seen winning 20.5%-23%. The New Popular Front, a hastily assembled left-wing coalition, was projected to win around 29% of the vote, the exit polls showed.

The results from the high-turnout vote, which were in line with polls ahead of the election, provided little clarity on whether the anti-immigrant, eurosceptic RN will be able to form a government alongside the pro-EU Macron.

A week of political bargaining now lies ahead of the July 7 run-off. The final result will depend on how parties decide to join forces in each of France’s 577 constituencies for the second round. In the past, France’s centre-right and centre-left parties have teamed up to keep the RN from taking power, but that dynamic, called the “republican front” in France, is less certain than ever.

The French president’s decision this month to call snap elections plunged his country into political uncertainty, sent shockwaves around Europe and prompted a sell-off of French assets on financial markets.

Participation in Sunday’s vote was high, underlining how France’s rumbling political crisis has energised the electorate.

By 1500 GMT, turnout was nearly 60%, compared with 39.42% two years ago – the highest comparable turnout figures since the 1986 legislative vote, Ipsos France’s research director Mathieu Gallard said.

A longtime pariah, the RN is now closer to power than it has ever been. Le Pen has sought to detoxify a party known for racism and antisemitism, a tactic that has worked amid voter anger at Macron, the high cost of living and growing concerns over immigration.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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