Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeBusinessFrance's Macron calls for snap election after losing big to the far...

France’s Macron calls for snap election after losing big to the far right in EU vote

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a meeting with members of the AI ​​sector at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris, France, on May 21, 2024.

Yoan Valat | afp | fake images

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he would dissolve the country’s parliament and call a new national legislative vote after suffering a heavy defeat in the EU elections.

The shock announcement came after exit polls published by public broadcaster France TV indicated that Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party (Rassemblement National, or RN) would win around 31.5%. of the votes, compared to 15.2% for Macron’s Renaissance party.

“At the end of this day… I will not be able to act as if nothing has happened,” Macron said in a television speech, according to a CNBC translation.

The first round of parliamentary elections will take place on June 30 and the second round on July 7, Macron said.

After calling for Macron to call elections, Le Pen welcomed the news, saying on X: “We are ready for it.”

Calling legislative elections is a risky move by Macron, who could be left without control over France’s internal affairs if Le Pen’s RN wins a parliamentary majority. Macron’s presidency will not end until 2027 and he cannot run for a third term.

“By unexpectedly bringing things to a head in a new parliamentary election, Macron can hope to revive his party’s fortunes,” Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank, said in a note late Sunday. “However, barring a major shift in sentiment, his party appears set to lose heavily in the parliamentary elections.”

He added that, for a “fiscally challenged France”, the new elections add uncertainty that could cause some concern in the markets.

Bardella in the spotlight

RN is run in Europe by Jordan Bardella, 28, whose mission is to make the far right acceptable to French youth and beyond. In an Ipsos poll published in May, 32% of respondents said they would be satisfied if Bardella were president in 2027 (above Le Pen, who came in second with 31%).

The nationalist and populist party’s campaign promises included “restoring” order in France, closing “radical” mosques and stopping what it calls the “migratory collapse.” He also pledged to reduce VAT on energy bills, invest in nuclear power and lower the retirement age to 60, “for those who start working early”.

Jordan Bardella, president of the National Rally (RN), a French right-wing nationalist and populist party, arrives at his last rally before the upcoming European Parliament elections.

Nurfoto | Nurfoto | fake images

Historic promises to leave the EU and get rid of euro They were discarded by Le Pen some time ago because she sought to appeal to a broader spectrum of voters.

“However, whether today’s French result and likely gains in the snap parliamentary elections can put Le Pen on track to eventually become president is a very different matter,” Berenberg’s Schmieding said.

“For her, it is easy to criticize a president in his second term who has lost popularity. But that is not the same as winning in a presidential election (scheduled for 2027) against a new contender. Much will depend on whether the French centrist “Los parties can present an attractive candidate against them.

Polls closed on Sunday after the last and biggest day of voting in the elections for members of the European Parliament, with far-right populist parties gaining record support, according to early data.

However, the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) is once again expected to win the most parliamentary seats, with slightly more seats than before.

— CNBC’s Charlotte Reed contributed to this report.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments