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French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella, president of the French far-right National Rally Alamy

Macron says French will 'make the right choice' in snap election, as far right makes gains in EU

Elections will take place on 30 June and 7 July.


FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL Macron has said he has faith the French people will make the “fair choice” in upcoming elections.

He announced unexpectedly yesterday that he is dissolving parliament and called snap legislative elections as the far-right trounced his centrist alliance in EU poll projections. 

Writing on X, Macron said: “I have confidence in the ability of the French people to make the fairest choice for themselves and for future generations.

“My only ambition is to be useful to our country that I love so much.”

The first round of elections for the lower house National Assembly will take place on 30 June, with the second round on 7 July, Macron announced in an address to the nation. The outcome of the EU elections, he acknowledged, is “not a good result for parties who defend Europe.”

“France needs a clear majority in serenity and harmony. To be French, at heart, it is about choosing to write history, not be driven by it,” Macron said.

Macron noted that, including the top scoring National Rally (RN), far-right parties in France managed to take almost 40% of the vote in the EU elections in France.

The President said that with far-right parties are “progressing” all over the EU, he must give the public a choice. 

“This decision is serious and heavy but it is an act of confidence. Confidence in you, dear compatriots, and in the capacity of the French people to make the best choice for itself and future generations.”

Projected results from France put far-right Le Pen’s party around 33%, with 31 seats in the incoming European Parliament – more than double the score of Macron’s liberals, who are expected to get 15%.

The National Assembly is the lower house of the French Parliament, with the Senate being the upper house. The Assembly has 577 representatives and the French President has the power to dissolve it, which is an option designed to break political stalemates. 

French presidential elections were held in 2022 and today’s announcement will have French voters turning to their attention to the 2027 presidential race, which Macron cannot compete in. 

RN figurehead Marine Le Pen fancies sees that contest as her best-ever chance of winning the Elysee Palace.

Belgium’s drift to the right

Belgians went to the polls on Saturday to cast their ballots in both the European and general election, which has seen Flemish far-right and right-leaning parties outpoll the ruling Flemish liberal parties.

Prime Minister Alexander DeCroo announced last night that he would be tendering his resignation to Belgian King Phillipe after his Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats party were set to lose close to 5% of their seats.

This morning DeCroo officially resigned at the King’s residence. He said on X: “I would like to wholeheartedly thank our voters and activists. The election result is a disappointment. I take responsibility for it.”

Ahead of polling day, it was expected that Belgium would see a shift to the right in their national parliament, with Vlaams Belang (VB), a Flemish, far-right and Eurosceptic party projected tops polls, but it has not reigned true.

VB are on track to gain around 3% more representation in the national parliament, despite winning 14.5% of the European election vote.

The conservative New Flemish Alliance and other right-leaning parties have performed better than originally projected, reflecting a softer drift to the right than anticipated. 

With reporting by AFP and Muiris O’Cearbhaill

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