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First French projections put hard-right National Rally well ahead in EU election

In World
June 09, 2024

PARIS (AP) — First projected results from France on Sunday put the far-right National Rally party well ahead in the European Union’s parliamentary election, defeating President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-European centrists, according to French opinion poll institutes.

Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration, nationalist party is estimated to get around 31-32% of the votes, more than twice the score of Macron’s Renaissance party that is projected to reach around 15%.

The initial indications are a hard blow for Macron as he tries to lead Europe-wide efforts to defend Ukraine and boost the EU’s own defenses and industry.

The National Rally’s lead candidate, Jordan Bardella, wants to limit free movement of migrants by carrying out national border controls and dial back EU climate rules. The party no longer wants to leave the EU and the euro, but aims to weaken it from within.

“Tonight, our compatriots have expressed a desire for change,” Bardella said.

“Emmanuel Macron is tonight a weakened president,” he added, calling for new national legislative elections to be organized.

First projections also show a resurgence of the Socialist Party, with about 14% of the votes. The party campaigned on more ambitious climate policies and protections for European businesses and workers, with about 14% of the votes.

France is electing 81 members of the European Parliament, which has 720 seats in total.

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