Nationalists win Stunning Victory in French Elections

The Parliamentary faction of President Emmanuel Macron has been utterly destroyed in the unexpected snap election he called just three weeks ago, with Le Pen’s Party looking to nearly treble its seat holding.

by Oliver JJ Lane,, June 30, 2024

Polling has closed in France for the first round of this week-long Parliamentary election. While actual seat distribution won’t be fully known, the exit polls following this knock-out round have given a confident answer that Marine Le Pen’s nationalist-populist National Rally (RN) won the day. Per the exit polls, her faction gained 34 per cent of the vote, while the left-wing coalition founded for the purpose of this election picked up 29 per cent, and President Macron’s Ensemble looks at just 20 per cent.

In terms of seats, any one party or group would need 289 seats in the 577 seat house. A series of exit polls suggest that by the end of next Sunday, RN could have as few as 250 seats, but could get as many as 310 depending on second round voting. This is a simply enormous leap for RN, given Le Pen’s party had just 88 Members of Parliament last time.

Speaking this evening, Marine Le Pen urged voters to back her in the second round to give the party an absolute majority in the house so it can choose the next Prime Minister and begin the end of the Emmanuel Macron presidency. She boasted her faction has practically “wiped out the Macron camp”.

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More detailed results will continue to come in overnight and into Monday. There now follows a week of further campaigning, before the final head-to-head rounds next week.

Because of the French system which sees this knock-out round followed a week later by the decider, there is a specific tradition of parties issuing tactical voting guidelines to their voters and horse-trading between parties to maximise the chances of defeating the first-placed candidate. For instance, while Le Pen’s RN looks set to be the largest single party and will fight a large number of constituencies next Sunday, it will be doing so against the combined weight of votes of all other parties coalescing around a single opposing figure.

This system makes the final outcome hard to predict — hence the very wide margin of error in the exit polls — and makes clear much remains to play for. President Macron has already called on the public to vote against the right next week.

It is not common, but under limited circumstances it is possible for a candidate to win outright in this round, by getting over 50 per cent of the votes cast and those votes being more than 25 per cent of the registered voters in the district. At time of writing it appears only a handful managed this feat, but among them was Marine Le Pen herself who won 58 per cent in Pas-de-Calais.


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Macron Defeated by Le Pen in French Elections by Tom Zawistowski is licensed under

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