Macron Calls for Snap Election After Far-Right Dominates Polls

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has dissolved the National Assembly and announced snap elections following an exit poll indicating his Renaissance party is way behind the far-right opposition in the European parliamentary elections that took place on Sunday.

The initial results showed the far-right National Rally (RN) party leading with 31.5% of the vote, more than double the votes of Renaissance, which came in second with 15.2%, narrowly surpassing the Socialists who secured 14.3%.

Following the release of the exit polls, RN leader Jordan Bardella urged Macron to dissolve the parliament, describing the significant lead of his party over the president’s as a severe repudiation.

Bardella, addressing his supporters jubilantly at the RN headquarters, declared, “This unprecedented defeat for the current government marks the end of a cycle, and Day 1 of the post-Macron era.”

Macron responded within an hour by addressing the nation and declaring the dissolution of the lower house of parliament, with the first round of elections scheduled for June 30 and the second round on July 7.

“I have decided to give you back the choice of your parliamentary future by voting. I am therefore dissolving the National Assembly this evening,” Macron said in his surprising announcement.

“This decision is serious, heavy. But it is above all, an act of trust. Trust in you, my dear compatriots. In the capacity of the French people to make the most just decision,” the French president added.

The French parliamentary system involves electing the 577 members of the National Assembly through separate elections, distinct from the presidential elections, which are next due in 2027.

In the 2022 parliamentary elections, Macron’s Ensemble coalition did not achieve a majority, requiring support from other parties.

Following Macron’s announcement, Marine Le Pen, who previously contested against Macron in the presidential elections but did not win, supported the decision for new elections, stating her party’s readiness to assume governance.

“We are ready to take power if the French place their trust in us,” said Le Pen, now the parliamentary leader of RN.

“We are ready to rebuild the country, ready to defend the interests of the French, ready to put an end to mass immigration, ready to make the purchasing power of the French a priority, ready to begin the reindustrialization of the country,” she said.

Since his reelection in 2022, Macron has been governing with a limited majority, often resorting to Article 49.3 to pass legislation without a parliamentary vote, which has been unpopular among the opposition and the public.

The last instance of a French president dissolving parliament was in 1997 by Jacques Chirac, which resulted in a loss of majority and a socialist government under Lionel Jospin.