The 2024 French Parliamentary Election: Projections show far-right National Rally takes the lead

France is holding their first round of a snap parliamentary election Sunday June 30. The second round will take place on July 7, as French people are voting to elect 577 members of the country’s National Assembly. Three major political blocs are competing for a majority: the far-right National Rally, President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance Ensemble Pour La République, and the New Popular Front coalition (which includes center-left, green, and hard-left ideologies). This election may result in France’s first far-right government in almost 100 years, as election projections now place the National Rally as the leading political group.

This election is an effort by President Macron to squash the emerging National Rally party, although experts worry that it will encourage nationalist and conservative extremism instead. These National Assembly elections were called three years earlier than required and just three weeks ago after Macron’s party was defeated in a European election against the National Rally. Macron has called on moderate French politicians to unite against the National Rally, specifically saying he wants “our compatriots and political leaders who do not recognize themselves in the extremist fever” to join together. According to NBC news, the National Party leads polls ahead of the Parliamentary election with 36 percent of the vote, while Macron’s Ensemble Pour La République only has 19.5 percent.

Macron’s decision to hold a snap election is accompanied with much controversy. Rather than restoring power to the center, many worry that Macron may be politically empowering the National Rally due to how well-supported the party is now. Macron recently described the early election as “the heaviest, the most serious, but the most responsible” solution. There is much at stake in this election, as the future prime minister will likely be aligned with whichever party wins a majority. If the National Rally wins the majority, the French government will have to split power between two different parties, which has only happened three times in France’s history.  Specifically, National Rally President Jordan Bardella will be the Prime Minister if the National Rally wins. Bardella has shared that he would oppose sending French troops to Ukraine and refuse French deliveries of arms and weaponry for the Russia-Ukraine War.

The first round of this election has seen an abnormally high turnout of 66.7% according to IFOP. This is 20 percentage points above the turnout of the most recent first-round vote in 2022. As of 2:00 PM EDT, projections show that the National Rally has a strong lead in the first voting round. It seems very likely that France will witness a far-right government for the first time since World War II. The current political climate of France is extremely shaky and uncertain, but extremism seems to be prevailing. Time will tell regarding how conflict within France and between France and the international community will play out.

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