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Unease in France Rises As Polls Show Right Wing Leader Marine Le Pen Leading Electoral Race

France, National Rally, historic, election
FILE PHOTO: Marine Le Pen, French far-right leader and French far-right National Rally (Rassemblement National - RN) party candidate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, campaigns with Henin-Beaumont mayor Steeve Briois and local RN politician Bruno Bilde at a market in Henin-Beaumont, northern France. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Leader of the far-right National Rally (RN) Marine Le Pen is leading the race ahead of France’s parliamentary elections. Three polls showed on Thursday that RN was ahead of the leftwing Popular Front and President Macron’s centrist party.

Le Pen defeated Macron in European elections

Macron has said that he would dissolve Parliament and call for elections on June 10. His party was defeated by the far-right in the European elections. The NR won 30% of the vote, double that of his centrist Renaissance party.

Pollster IFOP in a survey for broadcasting group TF1 and Le Figaro said the National Rally (RN) would secure 34% of the vote. The left-wing Popular Front coalition would reach 29%. Macron’s Together bloc would get 22%.

Other polls confirmed the outcome. A poll by Harris Interactive conducted for RTL radio, M6 TV and Challenges Magazine put the RN at 33%. The left was at 26% and Macron’s camp at 21%.

A third poll also put the RN in the lead with 35% of the votes.

The national popular vote does not directly reflect the balance of power in France’s next National Assembly. This is because the election is held as a two-round majority vote in each district. This will be on June 30 and July 7.

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Right win likely to fall short of absolute majority

The Harris poll has however made rough seat projections. It forecast 235 to 280 seats for RN and its allies. This would fall short of the 289 needed for an absolute majority. But it will make it the largest bloc.

Le Pen has indicated that she is willing to work with Macron. But the fact that she could win has alarmed moderates, France’s international partners, and a section of the French public.

Le Pen willing to work with Macron

Protests have already taken place on the streets of France. The protesters oppose the right-wing agenda of Le Pen. They also oppose her stance on human rights, the environment, and economy. The French stock market has also crashed.

The political instability comes less than two months before Paris hosts the Olympics.

With inputs from Reuters