France’s Macron calls for snap elections after far right surge in EU vote | Elections News

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Announcement comes after exit polls showed his alliance losing to far-right National Rally (RN) in EU parliament vote.

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced he will dissolve parliament and call new legislative elections after exit polls showed his alliance suffered a heavy defeat in European elections to Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) party.

The EU election result was “not good result for parties who defend Europe,” Macron said in his announcement on Sunday.

Far right parties… are progressing everywhere in the continent. It is a situation to which I cannot resign myself,” he said.

“I decided to give you the choice… Therefore I will dissolve the National Assembly tonight. This decision is serious and heavy but it is an act of confidence,” Macron added.

Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) party, led by 28-year-old Jordan Bardella, won around 32 percent of the vote, more than double the Macron ticket’s 15 percent, according to the first exit polls. The Socialists came within a whisker of Macron, with 14 percent.

Le Pen’s strong showing, notching a 10-point increase on the last EU election in 2019, will weaken Macron’s hold on power three years before the end of his final term. It could also prompt high-level defections from his centrist camp as the succession battle to replace him heats up.

“We are ready to take over power if the French give us their trust in the upcoming national elections,” Le Penn said at a rally in France, shortly after Macron’s shock announcement.

The French President’s advisers said he made his decision after this week’s 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, when he met people out and about who said they were tired of endless political infighting in parliament.

Le Pen and Bardella sought to frame the EU election as a mid-term referendum on Macron’s mandate, tapping into discontent with immigration, crime and a two-year inflation crisis.

The election results mark a critical moment as Macron cannot stand again as President and RN figurehead Le Pen fancies she has her best-ever chance of winning the Elysee Palace.

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