French far-right win in first round of pivotal French elections

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French far-right win in first round of pivotal French elections
President of the French far-right Rassemblement National (RN) group at the National Assembly Marine Le Pen (L) and RN President Jordan Bardella sing the national anthem in Marseille on March 3, 2024, prior to the European elections. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP)

The final results of the first round of France's crucial snap elections showed Marine Le Pen's far-right party ahead with a strong lead, followed by the leftist alliance and President Emmanuel Macron's centrist group in third place.


The final results, released early on Monday morning, showed the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party well in the lead with 33.4 percent of the votes.

They were followed by the alliance of leftist parties, called the Nouveau Front Populaire on 28 percent, Macron's centrist group Ensemble on 20.8 percent, and the right-wing Les Republicains party on 10.2 percent.

Turnout was 66.7 percent, the highest for the first round of a legislative election since 1997.

READ MORE: Will the French far-right get a majority in parliament?

After the results were released, Macron called for a "broad democratic alliance" against the far-right.

"Faced with the Rassemblement National, the time has come for a broad, clearly democratic and republican alliance for the second round," he said in a statement.

He also said that the high turnout in the first round spoke of "the importance of this vote for all our compatriots and the desire to clarify the political situation."

What next after the first round of voting?


France's longtime far-right leader Marine Le Pen said on Sunday voters needed to give her party an absolute majority in the second round of parliamentary elections so party chief Jordan Bardella can become premier.

"We need an absolute majority for Jordan Bardella to be appointed Prime Minister by Emmanuel Macron in eight days' time.

Explained: Who are all the parties and alliances in France's snap election?

"The French have unequivocally shown their desire to turn the page on seven years of contemptuous, corrosive power. However, nothing is certain and the second round will be decisive," she said.

The far-right's Jordan Bardella said: "The French people have handed down a clear verdict."

Bardella said he wanted to be the prime minister "of all French" who is respectful of the constitution in a "cohabitation" with President Emmanuel Macron, but "uncompromising".

Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Nouveau Front Populaire leftist alliance said on Sunday that President Emmanuel Macron's centrist alliance had suffered a "heavy and indisputable" defeat in snap polls and urged French people to vote against the far-right.

Crucial second round of voting lies ahead.


The second round of voting takes place next Sunday - July 7th.

The two highest scorers from round one go through, plus anyone else who got more than 12.5 percent of the total votes cast.

The high turnout has resulted in an unusually high number of three-way contests in the second round - in total there are 190 two-person second rounds, 306 three-person contests and five four-way splits.

A handful of candidates also won outright in the first round including Marine Le Pen and Parti Socialiste leader Olivier Faure. In Paris deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire won in the first round, knocking out former Macron minister Clément Beaune.

In a bid to keep out the far right Mélénchon's leftist alliance said it would withdraw candidates who finished third in the first round.

"Our instructions are clear: not one more vote, not one more seat for the RN", said Mélenchon.

READ ALSO: French elections: What happens next as far-right lead in round one?



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