Home News French election results disappoint, but National Front holds firm

French election results disappoint, but National Front holds firm

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The leader of France’s far-right National Rally party tried to put on a brave face in response to forecast results from Sunday’s parliamentary election that showed the party failing to win the most seats, saying they were still on the path to power despite a disappointing night.

National Alliance party president Jordan Badella said his party, which came first in the first round of voting last week, was on track to take its most seats ever in the National Assembly. He condemned the political strategy of centrist and left-wing rivals to withdraw candidates from hundreds of races to avoid splitting their support, saying they were “depriving” the country of its far-right government.

Still, with almost all of the 577 seats in the National Assembly still to be determined, the National Alliance has secured 142 seats, the most of any party. The party also won about 37% of the national vote, the most of any party.

“Tonight, an old world collapsed,” Mr. Badella said. “Nothing can stop a people who are rekindling their hope.”

Marine Le Pen, the party’s leader and daughter of the founder, also sought to put the results into a wider context. “The tide is rising,” she said. “It’s not rising high enough this time, but it’s rising. So our victory has really only been delayed.”

The leader of the National Rally believes that many of France’s problems stem from immigration and proposed a “national first” plan during the campaign, which stipulates that certain jobs, social welfare, education and health care will be reserved for French citizens rather than immigrants.

A new Popular Front coalition of four left-wing parties was quickly formed last month after President Emmanuel Macron called early elections in an attempt to present a unified front and prevent the National Rally from winning a majority.

Results in the western department of La Sarthe showed the challenges facing PN supporters in overcoming a tough defeat. Last week, the party won a majority in four of the region’s five constituencies, but fell short of the outright majority needed to avoid a runoff. In the second round of voting on Sunday, no PN candidate was elected in any of the five seats.

“It’s such a shame,” said Felix Aubry, a student and campaign manager for Francois Febvre, one of the National Rally candidates. “It’s crazy to see such a huge shift in the vote.” He described the recent alliance of left-wing parties as “unnatural” and tried to cast a positive light on the National Alliance’s progress.

“The national rally still made a very big breakthrough, so it’s still historic,” he said, adding, “It’s significant when you look at all the measures that were taken to stop it.”

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