French election: Far-right RN projected to win first round

Early projections indicate Marine Le Pen's National Rally (RN) has won most votes in the first round of the parliamentary election in France, beating the leftist NFP alliance and Emmanuel Macron's centrist Ensemble.

As France starts preparing for the decisive second round of the parliamentary vote next weekend, centrist and left-wing parties have already started speculating on a joint election strategy, including presenting a united front to counter RN.

Details of that strategy, however, remain unclear.

Using the numbers available from today’s vote, French broadcasters project that RN could take between 240 and 270 parliamentary seats next Sunday.

This is still short of 289 seats needed for absolute majority in parliament. However, RN could look for allies among smaller parties that are projected to take 21 seats, or the conservative Republican party, which is expected to take between 30 and 50 seats.

All projections are intentionally left with a large margin of error since the outcome of the vote is highly uncertain at this stage.

A meaningful representation of the future National Assembly will only be possible after the second round, following runoff elections in the constituencies that have not yet been decided.

Thousands rally in Paris to protest against the French far right

Thousands of people are gathering at the Republique plaza in Paris to protest against the far-right National Rally’s (RN) lead in the first round of French parliamentary election.

One of the protesters told the AP news agency that France was “going towards the extreme.”

“People don’t understand that this will impact us for years and years,” 19-year-old political science student Cynthia Fefoheio said. “This is a France of hate that is growing, not a France of solidarity and union.”

Another protester, 23-year-old public worker Daniel Gwendal, said he was hoping for a wide-reaching front against RN. “I hope for a union between the right and the left,” he said.

Soon after the vote results were announced, both Emmanuel Macron and the head of the leftist NFP bloc, Jean-Luc Melenchon, signaled they were open to a non-aggression pact in order to deny seats to Marine Le Pen’s RN.

Source: DW.com

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