French Populists Poised for Victory In Macron’s Snap Election

Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) party is projected to win the upcoming snap elections in France, following President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to call for early elections. 

The move comes after Macron’s Renaissance party garnered only half the support that populist parties received in the European Parliament elections. Polls conducted by Toluna Harris Interactive for Challenges, M6, and RTL suggest that the National Rally could secure between 235 and 265 seats in the French legislature, a substantial increase from its current 88 seats. However, this would still fall short of the 289 seats needed for an outright majority.

Macron’s Renaissance party is expected to see its representation halved, dropping from 250 seats to between 125 and 155. Meanwhile, leftist parties, running independently, might collectively hold 115 to 145 seats. The RN’s lead in the polls does not guarantee that they will form a government, as the possibility of a broad coalition of establishment parties or a hung parliament remains.

Despite the potential victory for the National Rally, Macron will remain president for the next three years, retaining control over defense and foreign policy. In France’s political system, the president holds more executive power than the prime minister, meaning any RN prime minister would wield less influence compared to Macron.

Following Macron’s election announcement, discussions of a populist coalition have intensified. RN leaders Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella recently met with Le Pen’s niece, Marion Maréchal, who leads the smaller Reconquête (Reconquest) party, to explore a potential alliance. At the same time, the divided French left is also engaging in talks to form a unified front against the rising populist tide.

The potential shift in power marks a significant moment in French politics, reflecting broader trends across Europe where populist movements are gaining ground. The outcome of the snap elections could reshape France’s political landscape and impact its role within the European Union.


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