The French Comments After Le Pen Party Wins

We’ve got breaking news from France, where Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) party has made historic gains in the first round of the parliamentary election. Exit polls show the RN winning around 34% of the vote, a significant setback for President Emmanuel Macron, whose Together alliance garnered 20.5%-23%.

Le Pen’s success marks a dramatic shift in French politics. The RN’s share of the vote outpaced the New Popular Front (NFP), a left-wing coalition, which secured around 29%. Despite this, the final outcome will hinge on the intricate political maneuvering leading up to next Sunday’s run-off.

Le Pen’s supporters celebrated the results with fervor, waving French flags and singing the Marseillaise. In her Henin-Beaumont constituency, Le Pen declared that the French people have shown a desire to turn the page on Macron’s administration, which she described as contemptuous and corrosive.

However, the RN’s path to power is fraught with challenges. The traditional “republican front,” where center-right and center-left parties unite to block the far-right, remains a significant hurdle. Yet, this dynamic is less certain than in previous elections.

The high voter turnout suggests France is heading for a record number of three-way run-offs, generally benefiting the RN more than two-way contests. Horsetrading among political rivals began immediately after the results were announced.

Macron urged voters to support “clearly republican and democratic” candidates, excluding those from the RN and the hard-left France Unbowed (LFI) party. Meanwhile, center-left and far-left leaders called on their candidates to step aside to prevent the RN from gaining more seats.

Jordan Bardella, the RN party president, expressed readiness to serve as Prime Minister if the party wins an absolute majority. He emphasized a commitment to respect the constitution and the office of the President while implementing the RN’s policies.

The mood was somber among anti-RN protesters in Paris, reflecting a mix of disgust, sadness, and fear at the RN’s strong performance. Najiya Khaldi, a teacher, expressed her distress and need for reassurance amidst the political upheaval.

Market reactions to the election results were muted, with a slight gain in the euro. Analysts described a sense of relief that the outcome did not yield major surprises. Attention now turns to the July 7 run-off to see if the RN can secure an absolute majority.

Exit polls indicated the RN might win the most seats in the National Assembly, but projections remain uncertain. Official nationwide results were expected later in the evening, with high voter participation reflecting the political fervor ignited by Macron’s decision to call a parliamentary vote.


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