French exit poll puts left-wing coalition in lead, far-right in third place | Election news

Projections suggest that France’s loose coalition of left-wing parties will emerge as the largest force in parliament and defeat the far-right.

A loose coalition of left-wing parties hastily put together for France’s general election is set to become the largest force in parliament and defeat the far-right, according to predicted opinion polls.

The New Popular Front (NFP) was formed last month after President Emmanuel Macron called for early elections, bringing together Socialists, Greens, Communists and far-left parties in one camp.

Veteran presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) party was leading in the first round of voting on June 30, and opinion polls predict she will lead the largest party in France’s Parliament after Sunday’s runoff election.

But projections based on voting samples from four major polling agencies seen by AFP on Sunday showed no party expected to win an absolute majority, with the left-wing NFP ahead of both Macron’s centrist Ensemble and Le Pen’s eurosceptic, anti-immigration RN.

The left-wing group was expected to win 172-215 seats, the president’s alliance 150-180 seats, and the National Coalition, which had been expecting an absolute majority, came in a surprising third place with 115-155 seats.

It’s a new high for the far right, but hardly a rebuke to President Macron, who called the elections as an attempt to stem political extremes in France.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the far-left Indomitable France party, was the first to respond, calling on French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal to resign and saying a left-wing coalition was ready to take over government.

Supporters of France’s far-left opposition party, Remain France (LFI), have reacted to partial results from the second round of the French parliamentary elections in Paris. [Yara Nardi/Reuters]

Macron will go to next week’s crucial NATO summit in Washington DC as a weakened but not defeated force, and with the Olympics in Paris less than three weeks away, France now finds itself without a stable ruling majority.

“We were taken by surprise.”

NDMT’s Natasha Butler, reporting from Paris, said people “are [exit polls] The results are in.”

“This is just an exit poll. For those at the RN headquarters, this is a big blow,” she said. “Le Pen has wanted to become French president for a long time… She has been defeated again.”

France’s shortest ever election campaign was marked by intimidation and violence, including racist abuse, against dozens of candidates and campaigners. Around 30,000 police were deployed to maintain order, and many voters expressed concern that riots would break out in some cities after the results were announced.

Still, turnout was high, with left-wing and center-wing candidates urging supporters to uphold democratic values ​​and the rule of law, and the far-right sensing an opportunity to upend the existing order.

Some 61.4% of voters had cast their ballots by 5pm (1500 GMT), according to Home Office figures – the highest turnout at this stage of a legislative election since 1981.

Rim Salah Aloan, a researcher at Toulouse Capitole University, told NDMT that France had “avoided the worst tonight, that’s for sure.”

“I think there was a massive vote from people who simply understood how dangerous it is to have the far right in power,” she said.

“But the concern should be that we were in that situation in the first place.”

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