Home Europe French Parties Unite to Block Far-Right National Rally’s Parliamentary Bid

French Parties Unite to Block Far-Right National Rally’s Parliamentary Bid

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French political parties are uniting to block the far-right National Rally (RN) from gaining power in the upcoming parliamentary run-off election. Over 200 candidates have withdrawn from Sunday’s second round to consolidate the anti-RN vote, with more expected to drop out before the 6 p.m. deadline.

Far-Right Predicted To Fall Short Of Outright Majority

Marine Le Pen’s RN surged ahead in Sunday’s first-round vote, overtaking French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist camp, which fell to third place behind a newly formed left-wing alliance. Despite this strong showing, pollsters predict the far-right party will secure between 250-300 seats, falling short of the 289 needed for a majority.

Opposition parties have formed a “republican front” to oppose the anti-immigrant, eurosceptic RN. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo urged voters to mobilize, declaring, “The match is not over. We must mobilize all our forces.”

Macron Reaches Out To Left

Consequently, Macron prioritizes blocking the far-right RN, even endorsing candidates from Jean-Luc Melenchon’s radical left-wing France Unbowed (LFI) party when necessary. His strategy echoes the successful 2002 “republican front” that united voters against Le Pen’s father in the presidential contest.

Marine Le Pen’s efforts to soften her party’s image have made it less of a pariah for many voters. An Ifop poll reveals that mainstream conservative voters will support left-wing candidates against the RN, except those from Melenchon’s LFI.

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Le Pen insists the RN will not form a government without a workable majority but has not ruled out reaching out to allies if they fall short of 289 seats. She has warned against potential “administrative coup” attempts by Macron to hinder RN policies, which the president’s office denies.

Hung Parliament Looms

In light of the looming hung parliament, French politicians now actively propose various solutions. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal suggests forming ad hoc alliances to pass legislation, while Xavier Bertrand of the center-right Republicans calls for a “provisional government” until the next presidential election.

Financial markets initially reacted positively to the far-right’s limited success, but concerns persist about potential policy paralysis for the remainder of Macron’s term. As France heads into the crucial second round, tension and uncertainty dominate the political landscape.

With inputs from Reuters