Home Uncategorized Setback for Macron: Far Right wins first round of election in France

Setback for Macron: Far Right wins first round of election in France


France‘s far-right National Rally (RN) party won the first round of the parliamentary election on Sunday, as per the exit poll, a huge setback for President Emmanuel Macron .
Marine Le Pen’s RN was winning around 34% of the vote, which is ahead of its leftist and centrist rivals, including Macron’s Together alliance. Macron’s alliance was seen winning 20.5 % to 23 % while New Popular Front (NFP), a left-wing coalition, was projected to win around 29% of the vote, Reuters reported citing exit polls.
The exit polls were in line with opinion surveys ahead of the election, and were met with jubilation by Le Pen’s supporters.However, they provided little clarity on whether the anti-immigrant, eurosceptic RN will be able to form a government to “cohabit” with the pro-EU Macron after next Sunday’s run-off.
Amid the voters are angry at Macron over his governing style and growing concerns over immigration, Le Pen tried to clean the image of the party known for racism and antisemitism, a tactic that worked.
The election, which Macron called after his party was battered by the RN in European Parliament elections earlier this month, could leave him to see out the remaining three years of his presidential term in an awkward partnership with a prime minister from an opposition party.
The projected results suggested that Macron’s gamble in calling snap elections had backfired spectacularly and that his influence over French politics is rapidly waning.
At Le Pen’s Henin-Beaumont constituency in northern France, supporters waved French flags and sung the Marseillaise, reported Reuters.
“The French have shown their willingness to turn the page on a contemptuous and corrosive power,” Le Pen told the cheering crowd.
The RN’s chances of winning power next week will depend on the political dealmaking made by its rivals over the coming days. In the past, centre-right and centre-left parties have teamed up to keep the RN from power, but that dynamic, known as the “republican front,” is less certain than ever.
What would happen if no candidate reaches 50% in first round?
If no candidate reaches 50% in the first round, the top two contenders automatically qualify for the second round, as well as all those with 12.5% of registered voters. In the run-off, whoever wins the most votes take the constituency.
High turnout on Sunday suggests France is heading for a record number of three-way run-offs. These generally benefit the RN much more than two-way contests, Reuters reported citing experts.
The horsetrading began almost immediately on Sunday night.
France’s Macron calls for ‘broad’ alliance against the far-right
After the far-right won first round, Macron on Sunday called for a “broad” democratic alliance against the National Rally party.
“Faced with National Rally, the time has come for a broad, clearly democratic and republican alliance for the second round,” he said in a statement. He also said that the high turnout in the first round spoke of “the importance of this vote for all our compatriots and the desire to clarify the political situation.”

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