French President Macron likely to lose big as far-right Marine Le Pen leads in parliamentary elections first round

World Monday 01/July/2024 07:13 AM
French President Macron likely to lose big as far-right Marine Le Pen leads in parliamentary elections first round

Paris: France's Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN) party has taken the lead in the first round of French parliamentary elections, leaving President Emmanuel Macron's party falling to the third place, according to the initial projections, reported CNN.

The initial estimates by IPSOS put the far-right alliance, headed by the National Rally (RN), in first with 34 per cent of the vote, ahead of the left-wing alliance in second with 28.1 per cent, while Macron's party trails in a distant third with 20.3 per cent.

Further, the projections suggested that after the second round of voting next Sunday, the RN would win between 230 and 280 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly, falling short of the 289 required for an absolute majority, as reported by CNN.

The left-wing alliance, the recently-formed New Popular Front (NFP), would have between 125 and 165 seats, while Macron's Ensemble and its allies would have between 70 and 100.

The projection meant that the RN from which Le Pen has sought to sweep out the racism and antisemitism that proliferated under the decades-long leadership of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen - is closer to power than it has ever been before, ahead of the second round of voting next Sunday.

Moreover, the RN election party in the northern town of Henin Beaumont celebrated following the announcement of results, CNN reported.

The voting commenced at 8 am local time (2 am ET) on Sunday, marking the start of the process to elect the 577 members of the National Assembly.

This election, scheduled three years ahead of the regular term, follows a significant setback for Macron's Renaissance party in the recent European Parliament elections, where the RN emerged victorious.

Responding swiftly to this defeat, Macron opted for the snap election, the first in France since 1997, acknowledging the electorate's message, as reported by CNN.

Regardless of the election's outcome, Macron has committed to serving until the next presidential election in 2027.

The electoral process involves two rounds: the current first round, which narrows down the field, and a subsequent round where candidates compete for the majority needed to secure parliamentary seats. Candidates must secure more than 12.5 per cent of the vote to advance to the second round, where final outcomes are decided, according to CNN.