National Rally set for historic election victory in France – exit poll
National Rally set for historic election victory in France – exit poll

The right-wing party is projected to win the first round of the snap parliamentary election

The right-wing National Rally (RN) party is set to win the first round of the French snap parliamentary elections held on Sunday, exit polls show. The result is a stunning defeat for President Emmanuel Macron and his centrist Together (Ensemble) coalition

Macron called for an early vote following the poor performance of his Renaissance Party during the European Parliament election last month, when RN led by Jordan Bardella won the most seats allotted to France.

According to the projections released on Sunday night by pollsters Ipsos and Talan, RN and its allies are leading with 33.2% of the vote, followed by the left-wing New Popular Front bloc (28.1%). Macron’s coalition is third with 21%. The turnout rate was estimated at 65.5%, the highest France has seen in four decades.

According to the projections by Radio France Internationale (RFI), RN is poised to secure between 230 and 280 seats in the 577-member National Assembly, while an estimate for Macron’s bloc is between 70 and 100 seats.

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RN supporters celebrated their win, as party leaders have urged them to “mobilize” for the second round of voting on July 7. 

“The French people have almost wiped out the Macronist bloc,” said Marine Le Pen, RN’s former long-time leader who currently leads the party’s faction in parliament. “The second round will determine the [final] outcome,” she added, stressing that RN needs to win an absolute majority in order for Macron to nominate Bardella for prime minister.

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Macron reacted to the upset by urging voters to “block the far right” and form a coalition to prevent RN from controlling the parliament.

“The time has come for a broad, unequivocally democratic and republican alliance for the second round,” Macron said on Sunday, noting that the high turnout has demonstrated “the importance of this election for all our compatriots and the desire to clarify the political situation.”

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said that “not a single vote should go to National Rally,” arguing that the country “must stop” the right from gaining an absolute majority.

New Popular Front leader Jean-Luc Melenchon described Sunday’s results as a “heavy and undisputable” defeat of Macron’s alliance, but also urged the French people to unite against RN.

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