Right-wing populists in France are celebrating victory over Macron

In France, politically, no stone was left unturned. Right-wing populists emerged as a strong force in the first round of early parliamentary elections. But next Sunday’s second round is crucial.

In France, politically, no stone is left unturned: on Sunday evening, it became clear after the predictions and assessments based on the results of the first round of the elections of members of the National Assembly. Pollsters’ predictions have been clearly confirmed: France’s nationalist right continues its rapid advance after its victory in the European elections.

On Monday morning, the Interior Ministry announced the official final result: Marine Le Pen’s right-wing populist Rallye Nationale (RN) candidates won 33 percent of the country. With 28 percent, the left-wing Popular Front (Nouveau Front Populaire) won 20 percent of the vote over President Emmanuel Macron’s center camp.

This particularly explains the sharp decline of liberal centrist parties previously represented in Macron’s government coalition. In response to the advance of the extreme right, the left opposition parties (Socialists, Communists, Greens and La France insoumise) came together to form a new electoral union.

Rassemblement National (RN) supporters celebrate their victory.APA / AFP / Francois Lo Presti

Walk to power

However, the percentages are only an indication of a trend and do not really allow for accurate change, as the majority of constituencies have a second election with two or three finalists. However, the march to power of right-wing populists appears to be continuing from election to election. Macron’s coalition was “almost wiped out” in the election, RN strongwoman Marine Le Pen rejoiced. Le Pen has tried to give the party founded by her father a more moderate look. And he would like to run for president again.

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Based on early results, the private broadcaster believes the RN parliamentary group could win between 240 and 270 seats in the National Assembly after next weekend’s runoff elections. This means that the far-right party will not get an absolute majority to form the government.

On Sunday evening, thousands of people took to the streets in Paris and other cities against the far-right.

On Sunday evening, thousands of people took to the streets in Paris and other cities against the far-right.Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch

Agreement against RN

Following the electoral victory of right-wing populists, French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced the withdrawal of around 60 government candidates in the second round. This should prevent right-wing populist candidates from winning, he said on Sunday evening in Paris. “No vote can go to federal nationalism,” he asserted.

Second phase election in a week

According to these calculations, the left Popular Front will get 180 to 200 seats, the incumbent Macronists 60 to 90 seats, the LR conservatives 30 to 50 seats and the rest 13 to 21 seats. Another company gave different figures to public broadcaster France-2, according to which RN party leader Jordan Bartella could have an absolute majority of up to 300 MPs as prime minister.

“Macron’s coalition nearly destroyed in election.”

Marine Le Pen

Right-wing populist R.N

France’s majoritarian electoral system makes these predictions a matter of guesswork, especially in how many of the 577 constituencies a candidate is immediately elected with more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round, and it is unclear where runoffs will take place.

After all, it was already expected that not just two, but three candidates could contest each seat this coming Sunday. To do this, you must have at least 12.5 percent of registered voters. You can also withdraw in favor of another finalist.

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High turnout

On the question of how the right-wing nationalists of the RN will be stopped with combined forces before they take government power, opinions still differ between the left and the conservatives and the Macronists. A gentleman’s agreement between these traditional adversaries is not in sight. The overwhelming turnout in France shows how aware voters were that this date would likely go down in political history. Participation reached a level not seen in France for 27 years, with nearly 70 percent of the 49 million registered.

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