French election 2024: Decisive second round kick off, far right bids for power

Polls are open for the second round of the French elections, which may lead to France’s first far-right government since the World War II Nazi occupation

Shailesh Khanduri
Updated On
New Update
Marine Le Pen Emmanuel Macron

Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron (Image-courtesy- Financial Times

New Delhi: Voting opened Sunday in France for the second round of high-stake legislative elections that have already seen the largest gains ever for the country’s far-right National Rally party.

French President Emmanuel Macron took a huge gamble in dissolving parliament and calling for the elections after his centrists were trounced in European elections on June 9.

The first round on June 30 saw the largest gains ever for the anti-immigration, nationalist National Rally, led by Marine Le Pen. Sunday’s vote determines which party controls the National Assembly and who will be prime minister.

If support is further eroded for Macron’s weak centrist majority, he will be forced to share power with parties opposed to most of his pro-business, pro-European Union policies.

The second-round voting began Saturday in France’s overseas territories from the South Pacific to the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and North Atlantic. The elections wrap up Sunday at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) in mainland France.

What to expect as France heads to the polls

French voters face a decisive choice in the runoff of snap parliamentary elections that could see the country’s first far-right government since the World War II Nazi occupation — or no majority emerging at all.

Marine Le Pen stands a chance

Official results suggest Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration, nationalist party National Rally stands a good chance of winning a majority in the lower house of parliament for the first time, but the outcome remains uncertain amid the complex voting system and political tactics.

When are the results?

Polling agencies will share projections at 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EST), with a final national tally expected by early Monday. (AP)