'Contained but not stopped': French far right takes record number of seats in parliament

Marine Le Pen on Wednesday said her far-right National Rally party’s accession to power was only "postponed", despite its third-place finish in the July 7 second round of the legislative elections. Although the party elected a record number of deputies to the National Assembly, its weaknesses were also exposed during the campaign.

Though it won the biggest share of the vote in the first round of the election for seats in the National Assembly, the National Rally (RN) finished in third place after the second round on July 7, overtaken by the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) coalition and the centrist alliance of President Emmanuel Macron.

The results of the second round of voting illustrate both the RN’s strengths and weaknesses in its bid to win power in France.

In the new Assembly, the 143 seats won by the RN bloc, including 17 from conservative allies, mark a significant gain from the 89 seats the party won in 2022. The left-wing NFP alliance has 182 seats, ahead of Macron's coalition with 168.

The second round of the vote showed that the RN's elected representatives are gaining a solid foothold with voters.

During the campaign, she said, the RN managed to shift the debate in the direction of its primary themes, of “insecurity, immigration” – and to impose “its vocabulary”.

(With AFP)

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