Home Web Specials France heads to second round showdown between left alliance and far right

France heads to second round showdown between left alliance and far right

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The far-right National Rally, which is Marine Le Pen’s party, is in the lead after the first round of parliamentary elections in France.

The party and its allies secured 33% of the votes, largely aligning with pre-election polls.

The New Popular Front (Nouveau Front Populaire, NFP), a left-progressive alliance formed after the snap elections were announced by President Emmanuel Macron earlier in June, recorded the second largest share of votes—about 29%.

Macron’s liberal coalition lagged far behind at 21%.

The election on 30 June was marked by the highest turnout since the late 1980s. The second round of elections will be held on 7 July.

To win in the first round, a candidate must secure more than 50% of the votes cast, representing at least 25% of registered voters.

In these elections, more than 60 candidates were elected in the first round: two from Macron’s list, 21 from the NFP, and as many as 38 from the National Rally.

More than 500 seats remain to be filled in the second round, giving the left another chance to minimise the gap between them and the National Rally.

Demonstrations protesting the rise of the far right were reported in Strasbourg, Lille and Paris, among other cities. In Paris, candidates from France Unbowed (La France Insoumise) who are leading the NFP alliance, addressed the crowd. “Tonight’s mood is not one of joy or sadness, but of struggle,” said Manuel Bompard, national coordinator of France Unbowed. – Peoples Dispatch/Globetrotter News Service

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