“Our victory is only delayed,” Le Pen said.

Marine Le Pen The leader of France’s far-right Rally National party expressed optimism despite his party’s defeat in the second round of crucial parliamentary elections, which initially saw a surprise victory for a new left-wing coalition.

“The tide is rising and our victory today is only delayed,” Le Pen said, after initial projections based on the vote count showed her left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) in the lead.

Le Pen said she and her party were growing in strength against a coalition of all movements.

The National Coalition won the first round of voting on June 30 but was projected to win 135 to 145 seats in the country’s 577-seat lower house, the National Assembly, dropping it to third place on Sunday.

The latest forecasts, published by broadcasters TF1 and France 2 after polls closed on Sunday evening, show the NFP is expected to win 177-198 seats, followed by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist bloc with 152-169 seats, down from 245.

However, if the predicted results are confirmed, it would represent a significant increase in the National Rally’s seats.

A woman casts her vote at a polling station during the second round of the French parliamentary elections. On July 7, 2024, France will hold parliamentary elections that will determine the country's political future and could see the far-right become the largest party in parliament for the first time. Ludovic Marin/AFP/DPA

A woman casts her vote at a polling station during the second round of the French parliamentary elections. On July 7, 2024, France will hold parliamentary elections that will determine the country’s political future and could see the far-right become the largest party in parliament for the first time. Ludovic Marin/AFP/DPA

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