France elections latest: Exit polls show leftist New Popular Front in the lead, with far-right in third place

Marine Le Pen's National Rally topped polls during the first round of voting, while French leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon has described election as 'relief'.

Supporters of the left wing coalition Nouveau Front Populaire (NFP) react after the first results of the second round of France's legislative election during an election night event in Rennes on July 7, 2024.
Supporters of the left wing coalition Nouveau Front Populaire (NFP) react after the first results of the second round of France's legislative election. (Getty)

France's left-wing New Popular Front coalition is leading in the second round of voting, according to exit polls.

The unexpected result puts France on course for a hung parliament, with a leftist alliance unexpectedly taking the top spot ahead of the far right in a major upset that would prevent Marine Le Pen's National Rally from running the government.

The outcome, if confirmed, would leave France's parliament divided in three big groups with hugely different platforms.Centrist president Emmanuel Macron's party appears to be polling in second.

He called the snap election after his party suffered a crushing defeat in EU elections, while he has come in for criticism from voters over a cost-of-living crisis and the perception he is out of touch.

Voting finished at 8pm local time (7pm BST), and now nationwide projections - likely to be fairly reliable - suggest that Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally has been pushed into third place.

The shock result prompted prime minister Gabriel Attal to announce that he will resign on Monday, while the final result was unknown as France late on Sunday night as the count rolled into the early hours of Monday morning.

Riot police were deployed across the country amid fears of violent protests, with unrest breaking out in Nantes, and waves of celebration and protest elsewhere.

Yahoo News has ended its live coverage for the day. Read below for the key moments from the day.

LIVE COVERAGE IS OVER46 updates
  • Unrest breaks out elsewhere in France

    Unrest was not limited to Paris, with pockets breaking out in other French towns, including Nantes, where demonstrators clashed with anti-riot police.

    Demonstrators clash with anti riot police during a demonstration following the announcement of the first results of the second round of France's crunch legislative elections in Nantes, western France on July 7, 2024. A loose alliance of French left-wing parties thrown together for snap elections was on course to become the biggest parliamentary bloc and beat the far right, according to shock projected results. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
    Demonstrators clash with anti riot police during a demonstration in Nantes. (Getty)
    Anti riot police officers received a molotov cocktail during a demonstration following the announcement of the first results of the second round of France's crunch legislative elections in Nantes, western France on July 7, 2024. A loose alliance of French left-wing parties thrown together for snap elections was on course to become the biggest parliamentary bloc and beat the far right, according to shock projected results. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
    A molotov cocktail is thrown at riot police officers in Nantes. (Getty)
    An anti riot police officer receives assistance from colleagues after being injured during a demonstration following the announcement of the first results of the second round of France's crunch legislative elections in Nantes, western France on July 7, 2024. A loose alliance of French left-wing parties thrown together for snap elections was on course to become the biggest parliamentary bloc and beat the far right, according to shock projected results. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
    An anti riot police officer receives assistance from colleagues after being injured during a demonstration. (Getty)
  • In pictures: Unrest breaks out in aftermath of election exit poll

    French riot police run during clashes with demonstrators following partial results in the second round of the early French parliamentary elections, at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, July 7, 2024. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    French riot police run during clashes with demonstrators at the Place de la Republique in Paris. (Reuters)
    A protester throws a projectile near burning bicycles during clashes with police following partial results in the second round of the early French parliamentary elections, at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, July 7, 2024. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    A protester throws a projectile near burning bicycles during clashes with police. (Reuters)
    An anti riot police officer receives assistance from colleagues after being injured during a demonstration following the announcement of the first results of the second round of France's crunch legislative elections in Nantes, western France on July 7, 2024. A loose alliance of French left-wing parties thrown together for snap elections was on course to become the biggest parliamentary bloc and beat the far right, according to shock projected results. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
    An anti riot police officer receives assistance from colleagues after being injured during a demonstration in Nantes. (Getty)
    Anti riot police officers received a molotov cocktail during a demonstration following the announcement of the first results of the second round of France's crunch legislative elections in Nantes, western France on July 7, 2024. A loose alliance of French left-wing parties thrown together for snap elections was on course to become the biggest parliamentary bloc and beat the far right, according to shock projected results. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
    Molotov cocktails are thrown at anti riot police officers in Nantes. (Getty)
    Protesters hold a banner reading
    Protesters hold a banner reading "The real barrier is the road" during a demonstration in Nantes. (Getty)
  • Disaster averted, Macron still faces trouble ahead

    Emmanuel Macron may have avoided the far right coming to power in France, but the country still faces an uncertain future - with many pointing the finger at him.

    So what challenges are facing the French president, and what could happen in the coming days?

    Here's more from AFP.

  • Latest projections from Elabe

    In its latest projections, Elabe is predicting 184-186 seats for the New Popular Front.

  • ‘We were so scared’: France’s centre and leftwing voters breathe sigh of relief

    Left wing voters in France had resigned themselves to defeat after a win for National Rally was predicted.

    But many are now breathing a sigh of relief after the shock exit poll news that the far-left coalition is predicted to win the election.

    Read their reaction in the Guardian.

  • How it all went wrong for Le Pen’s National Rally

    National Rally had been all set to celebrate - even laying out champagne ready for the election exit poll.

    But rather than jubilant partying, the party was left licking its wounds after being beaten by both the left-win coalition and Emmanuel Macron's centrist alliance.

    So what went wrong? Find out more from the Telegraph.

  • Far left and far right both shocked by exit poll results - for different reasons

    It was a shock result for many, given that the far right were expected to triumph in France's snap election.

    Rather than popping champagne corks, the right were left angry at having missed out on what many had thought would be a certain victory.

    In contrast, supporters of the left-wing coalition were elated at the shock news that they appeared to be leading in the election.

  • In pictures: France reacts to election exit poll news

    People stand in Republique Plaza as they react to the projection of results during the second round of the legislative elections, in Paris, France, Sunday, July 7, 2024. Polls have closed in France, and polling projections say a coalition on the left that came together unexpectedly has won the most parliamentary seats in the pivotal runoff elections after a high turnout among voters. Banner at center reads
    People stand in Republique Plaza as they react to the projection of results in Paris. (AP)
    People celebrate, some with placards, after the first results of the second round of France's legislative election during an election night event in Marseille on July 7, 2024. A broad left-wing coalition was leading a tight French legislative election, ahead of both President's centrists and the far right with no group winning an absolute majority, projections showed. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP) (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)
    People celebrate, some with placards, in Marseille. (AFP/Getty)
    Parisians react after the first results of the second round of France's legislative election during an election night gathering at Republique Square in Paris on July 7, 2024. A broad left-wing coalition was leading a tight French legislative election, ahead of both President's centrists and the far right with no group winning an absolute majority, projections showed. (Photo by Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP) (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images)
    Parisians react to the shock exit poll news. (Getty)
    People raise their arms and hands as they gather at the Place de la Republique after partial results in the second round of the early French parliamentary elections, in Paris, France, July 7, 2024. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    People raise their arms and hands as they gather at the Place de la Republique. (Reuters)
    Supporters light red flares during the election night of left-wing party La France Insoumise (LFI) following the first results of the second round of France's legislative election at La Rotonde Stalingrad in Paris on July 7, 2024. A broad left-wing coalition was leading a tight French legislative election, ahead of both President's centrists and the far right with no group winning an absolute majority, projections showed. (Photo by Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP) (Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images)
    Supporters light red flares during the election night of left-wing party La France Insoumise. (Getty)
    PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 07: People, holding flags and banners, gather at the Republique Square following the second round results of France's legislative election in Paris, France on July 07, 2024. France's left-wing New Popular Front alliance leads in Sunday's snap parliamentary elections, seemingly halting the rise of far-right, polls said. The NFP could win 180 to 215 seats in the parliament's lower chamber, the National Assembly, according to projections based on the surveying company Ifop's estimations. The centrist alliance, Together for the Republic, backed by President Emmanuel Macron ranked second with 150 to 180 seats, while Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN), which celebrated its victory in the first round, will get 120 to 150 seats. (Photo by Mohamad Salaheldin Abdelg Alsayed/Anadolu via Getty Images)
    People, holding flags and banners, gather at the Republique Square in Paris. (Getty)
  • Euro falls after French exit poll points to hung parliament

    PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 07: People, holding flags and banners, gather at the Republique Square following the second round results of France's legislative election in Paris, France on July 07, 2024. France's left-wing New Popular Front alliance leads in Sunday's snap parliamentary elections, seemingly halting the rise of far-right, polls said. The NFP could win 180 to 215 seats in the parliament's lower chamber, the National Assembly, according to projections based on the surveying company Ifop's estimations. The centrist alliance, Together for the Republic, backed by President Emmanuel Macron ranked second with 150 to 180 seats, while Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN), which celebrated its victory in the first round, will get 120 to 150 seats. (Photo by Mohamad Salaheldin Abdelg Alsayed/Anadolu via Getty Images)
    France's exit poll results prompted the Euro to fall. (Reuters)

    The euro fell on Sunday after exit polls for the final round of the French parliamentary elections pointed to a hung parliament, with the left wing New Popular Front grouping unexpectedly set to win the most seats.

    Europe's single currency was last down 0.3% at $1.08, although volumes remained thin as early trading in Asia got underway. It also dipped against sterling and the yen.

    Read more on this from Reuters.

  • This result might be the biggest surprise in the history of French elections

    The result of the exit poll in the French election has sent shockwaves through France and beyond - with the predicted far right victory not becoming a reality.

    But while many are breathing a sigh of relief, others are concerned at the prospect of a power struggle given France will now have a hung parliament.

    Read more from Sky News on what this election result means for France.

  • Polish prime minister reacts to French election projections

    Polish prime minister Donald Tusk summed up what he saw as the reaction to the news from France, given the potential impact of its election results.

    Writing on X, formerly Twitter, he said: "In Paris enthusiasm, in Moscow disappointment, in Kyiv relief. Enough to be happy in Warsaw."

  • Latest Ipsos projections

    Here are the latest projections from Ipsos.

  • Latest projection from Ifop

    Here are the latest projections from Ifop.

  • French political leaders react to election result

    First Secretary of the French left-wing Socialist Party (PS) Olivier Faure (C) delivers a speech after the announcement of initial results during the party's election night event following the first results of the second round of France's legislative election in Paris on July 7, 2024.  (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP) (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP via Getty Images)
    First Secretary of the French left-wing Socialist Party Olivier Faure delivers a speech after the announcement of initial results. (Getty)

    Reaction has been pouring in from French political leaders to the shock exit poll news in the snap election.

    The country is now on course for a hung parliament with the left-wing New Popular Front saying Macron should call on it to govern.

    Here is the reaction from political leaders in France, from Reuters.

  • Marine Le Pen remains defiant despite exit poll news

    Far-right National Rally party leader Marine Le Pen answers reporters after the second round of the legislative election, Sunday, July 7, 2024 at the party election night headquarters in Paris. A coalition on the left that came together unexpectedly ahead of France's snap elections won the most parliamentary seats in the vote, according to polling projections Sunday. The surprise projections put President Emmanuel Macron's centrist alliance in second and the far right in third. (AP Photo/Louise Delmotte)
    Marine Le Pen has reacted to the news that the far right has been beaten into third place in the French election, with a left-wing coalition leading. (AP)

    Marine Le Pen, who co-leads National Rally with Jordan Bardella, said the party's victory had "only been delayed".

    Le Pen, who has failed in a bid to be French president three times, was cheered by supporters as she reacted to the exit poll news.

    But she remained defiant, saying she "sees the seeds of tomorrow's victory in today's result" - despite her party being pushed into third place.

  • Prime minister Gabriel Attal says he will resign - while Macron says he will wait to make any decision

    France's Prime Minister Gabriel Attal gives a speech following the first results of the second round of France's legislative election at Matignon in Paris on July 7, 2024.  (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)
    France's prime minister Gabriel Attal said he will resign. (Getty)

    French prime minister Gabriel Attal has said he will resign following the exit poll results putting a leftist coalition in the lead in the election.

    His announcement came as Macron's office said he would 'wait' to make decisions on a new government.

    A statement from the French presidency said Macron is analysing the latest election results and will wait for the full picture to emerge in parliament before making any decisions.

    It said: "The president, as guarantor of our institutions, will respect the choice of French people."

  • What might the French National Assembly look like after this election?

    France’s national assembly has 577 seats, with 289 seats needed for an absolute majority.

    With no one party securing that majority, the country is on course for a hung parliament with the left-wing New Popular Front coming first, ahead of President Emmanuel Macron's centrists, with far-right National Rally coming third.

    This gives an easy-to-digest breakdown of the projected results from the French election.

  • Who are the New Popular Front?

    Julien Mattia / Le Pictorium -  Election night at Socialist Party HQ  -  07/07/2024  -  France / Paris  -  Olivier Faure reacts to the Nouveau Front Populaire's victory at the soiree electorale at Socialist Party HQ for the second round of the 2024 legislative elections.
    What is the New Popular Front?

    The New Popular Front is left-wing alliance of political parties launched in response to the snap election.

    The coalition brings together France Unbowed, the Socialist Party, The Ecologists, the French Communist Party, Génération.s, Place Publique, and several other left-leaning parties and groups.

    Its name is a reference to the old Popular Front - an alliance which ruled France in the 1930s to prevent fascism from winning a majority.

    The parties in the New Popular Front are not necessarily closely aligned, with differences in their ideologies, but agreed to form a coalition to prevent the far right from winning the election.

    The Front's aims include scrapping the pension and immigration reforms introduced in recent years, as well as increasing public sector salaries and welfare benefits, and freezing the price of basic food items and energy, all funded through a wealth tax and by raising income tax on the highest earners.

  • 'Thank God!' - Fred Sirieix reacts to election results

    French-born Fred Sirieix, who is best known for appearing on Channel 4's First Dates and BBC Two's Million Pound Menu, voiced his relief on the election result on X.

    The TV personality, who grew up in Limoges, wrote: "Thank God! Le Pen's right wing National Rally (aka National Front) has lost the elections and won't govern France. Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite."

  • Bardella blames Macron and 'dishonourable alliance' for defeat

    Jordan Bardella, President of the French far-right Rassemblement National (National Rally - RN) party, react on stage after partial results in the second round of the early French parliamentary elections in Paris, France, July 7, 2024. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
    Jordan Bardella has reacted to the news that his party is not leading in the French election. (Reuters)

    National Rally leader Jordan Bardella blamed Macron for pushing France into "uncertainty and instability".

    Speaking to supporters, he said a "dishonourable alliance" had "deprived the French people" of a victory by National Rally, adding: "These alliances throw France into the arms of the far left of Jean-Luc Mélenchon."

    "Everyone understands today that the arrangements orchestrated by the Élysée.. won't go anywhere," he said.

    But he said victories for National Rally in the European elections and the first round of the parliamentary election are the "cornerstones of tomorrow's victory", adding: "For months now a wind of hope has picked up and it will never stop blowing."

  • Elation in France as left-wing coalition announced as leaders in election

    Left wing supporters celebrate during a rally after the announcement of the results of the second round of France's parliamentary elections in Lyon, eastern France on July 7, 2024. A loose alliance of French left-wing parties thrown together for snap elections was on course to become the biggest parliamentary bloc and beat the far right, according to shock projected results. (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP) (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images)
    Left wing supporters celebrate during a rally after the announcement of the results of the second round of France's parliamentary elections in Lyon. (Getty)
    Partcipants react as they listen to the announcement of the projected results of the second round of France’s crunch legislative elections during a rally in Nantes, western France on July 7, 2024.
    Partcipants react as they listen to the announcement of the projected results during a rally in Nantes, western France. (Reuters)
    People react to the projection of results during the second round of the legislative elections, near Republique Plaza in Paris, France. Polls have closed in France, and polling projections say a coalition on the left that came together unexpectedly has won the most parliamentary seats in the pivotal runoff elections after a high turnout among voters.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
    People react to the projection of results near Republique Plaza in Paris. (AP)

    There was elation in cities across France from left-wing supporters as a shock exit poll result put the far right National Rally in third place - rather than first.

    National Rally’s Jordan Bardella and his supporters were expecting to be popping champagne - but instead were left watching as the left-wing parties celebrated news that they are leading in the snap election.

  • Leader of largest party in left-wing coalition: 'We saved France'

    Founder of left-wing party La France Insoumise (LFI) Jean-Luc Melenchon delivers a speech during the election night of left-wing party La France Insoumise (LFI) following the first results of the second round of France's legislative election at La Rotonde Stalingrad in Paris on July 7, 2024. (Photo by Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP) (Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images)
    Jean-Luc Melenchon delivers a speech on election night in France. (Getty)

    Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the radical left France Unbowed party, which is the largest in the left-wing coalition, addressed supporters following the exit poll, saying Macron should call on the New Popular Front to govern.

    He said the results were the result of a "magnificent mobilisation effort" and bring “immense relief for a majority of people in our country".

    "The president has to bow and admit this is a defeat," he said. "The prime minister needs to leave.

    "The president has the power and the duty to call the NFP to govern. The NFP is ready."

    He said: "The elements on the left are united and have shown that they were able to deal with this extraordinary historical situation.

    "Once again, it saved the Republic, we saved the Republic."

  • Cheers from left-wing supporters as election results revealed

    Supporters of the left wing coalition Nouveau Front Populaire (NFP) react after the first results of the second round of France's legislative election during an election night event in Rennes on July 7, 2024. A broad left-wing coalition was leading a tight French legislative election, ahead of both President's centrists and the far right with no group winning an absolute majority, projections showed. (Photo by Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP via Getty Images)
    Supporters of left-wing New Popular Front coalition react to news that they are leading in the French election. (Getty)

    There were cheers and elation from supporters of the left-wing New Popular Front coalition after it was projected that they are leading in the French election.

    While many expected the far right National Rally to be in the lead, shock exit poll results put the leftist alliance in the lead, followed by Emmanuel Macron's allies.

    But with 289 seats needed for a majority in France's national assembly, the country is still set for a hung parliament.

  • Ifop and Ipsos put left-green New Popular Front alliance in first place

    The Ifop projection puts the left-green New Popular Front in first place, with Macron's centrist allianc in second, and the far right in third - predictions echoed by Ipsos.

    According to AP, Republique plaza - where supporters of the left were gathered - erupted into cheers as the projections were revealed.

  • Exit polls put National Rally in third place - with left-wing New Popular Front leading

    The polls have closed in France and it appears that the predictions that National Rally could win the country's snap election were wide of the mark.

    According to exit polls, the left-wing New Popular Front is leading, followed by Emmanuel Macron's allies in second, with National Rally pushed into third place.

  • How do France's snap elections work and what comes next?

    Election officials empty a ballot box to count votes during the second round of France's legislative election at a polling station in Illkirch-Graffenstaden, eastern France on July 7, 2024. France votes in legislative elections on July 7, 2024 that will be decisive in determining its political future and could see the far right become the largest party in parliament for the first time. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)
    Votes have been cast in France's snap election. (Getty)

    Results in France's snap parliamentary elections are imminent, with a few possible scenarios set to emerge.

    So what are the possible outcomes, and what happens next?

    Find out how France's snap election works from AP here.

  • Only 15 minutes left of voting in French election

    French President Emmanuel Macron (C) and French First Lady Brigitte Macron (L) vote at a polling station in the second round of French parliamentary elections in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, France, 07 July 2024. MOHAMMED BADRA/Pool via REUTERS
    French president Emmanuel Macron, centre, and French First Lady Brigitte Macron, left, vote in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage. (Reuters)

    We are only 15 minutes away from the end of voting in the second round of the French parliamentary election.

    As in the UK, we are expecting the results of a nationwide exit poll to be published almost immediately after voting is finished.

    France does not have to wait long before its future is decided.

  • French Jewish people conflicted over voting choices amid antisemitism fears

    As France faces a high-stakes second round of elections on Sunday, French Jewish people say they are grappling with tough choices and feel caught between extremes amid concerns about rising antisemitism.

    As part of her longstanding efforts to detoxify the image of the far-right National Rally (RN) – currently leading in opinion polls – Marine Le Pen, to the incredulity of many, has sought to present herself as a friend of Jewish people and Israel.

    Read more from The Guardian.

  • What are Marine Le Pen’s plans for France?

    Former president of the French far-right Rassemblement National (RN) parliamentary group Marine Le Pen gives a speech during the results evening of the first round of the parliamentary elections in Henin-Beaumont, northern France, on June 30, 2024. A divided France is voting in high-stakes parliamentary elections that could see the anti-immigrant and eurosceptic party of Marine Le Pen sweep to power in a historic first. The candidates formally ended their frantic campaigns at midnight June 28, with political activity banned until the first round of voting. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP) (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP via Getty Images)
    Marine Le Pen hopes to put her plan for France into action. (AFP via Getty Images)

    After Marine Le Pen’s National Rally walloped Emmanuel Macron in the first round of voting in the French elections, there is a real chance France could be governed by a hard-Right party for the first time since the Second World War.

    Then, France’s collaborationist Vichy regime claimed authority over the country in an armistice deal with Nazi Germany.

    Ms Le Pen has spent more than a decade trying to detoxify her National Rally party and turning it from a movement that once celebrated Nazi collaboration to a genuine electoral force.

    Read more on her plans from The Telegraph here.

  • What happened in the first round of France's parliamentary election?

    Polling station workers begin counting ballots during the second round of the legislative elections, Sunday, July 7, 2024 in Schiltgheim, eastern France. Voting is underway in mainland France on Sunday in pivotal runoff elections that could hand a historic victory to Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally and its inward-looking, anti-immigrant vision, or produce a hung parliament and political deadlock. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
    Polling station workers begin counting ballots during the second round of elections in Schiltgheim, eastern France. (AP Photo)

    Voting in the second round of parliamentary elections is almost finished, but what happened in the first round?

    National Rally, the far-right party led by Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella, surged to first place in the first round of legislative elections last Sunday.

    The National Rally gained just over 33.1% of votes cast, according about three percentage points behind opinion poll predictions but still the clear winner.

    The result represented a significant success for Le Pen’s party, formerly called the National Front.

    Read more from Euronews here.

  • Who is Jordan Bardella, the poster boy for France's far-right?

    Jordan Bardella, President of the French far-right Rassemblement National (National Rally - RN) party, reacts on stage after partial results in the first round of the early French parliamentary elections in Paris, France, June 30, 2024. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
    Jordan Bardella, president of the French far-right National Rally party. (Reuters)

    Jordan Bardella, the 28-year-old leader of France's far-right National Rally who is eyeing the post of prime minister, has helped rejuvenate the image of a party long tainted by racism and anti-Semitism.

    On his watch, the National Rally of three-time former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has gone from strength to strength, achieving record scores in this month's European elections and winning the first round of legislative polls on Sunday.

    But who is he? Read more here from AFP.

  • Organiser of Paris Olympics keeps focus on Games, not politics

    PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 06: Olympic Games Paris 2024 preparations continue in Paris, France on July 06, 2024. (Photo by Ahsan Mohammed Ahmed Ahmed/Anadolu via Getty Images)
    Preparations for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. (Getty Images)

    The chief organiser of the Paris Olympics says he is focused on preparing for the Games later this month rather than the political turmoil gripping France.

    Tony Estanguet, president of the committee organising the Olympics and Paralympics, was asked whether the stated values of Paris 2024 and its motto "Games Wide Open" were consistent with the agenda of the far-right National Rally (RN) party, which topped snap parliamentary polls at the weekend.

    "I want us to respect this major democratic moment and we need to stay in our place so that French people can enjoy these Games which they can't wait to see," he told reporters during a visit to the Olympic village earlier this week.

    Read the full story from RFI here

  • Explainer-France's political alliances and their election pledges

    French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron leave the polling station on July 7, 2024 in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, France. The National Rally party was expected to have a strong showing in the second round of France s legislative election, which was called by the French president last month after his party performed poorly in the European election. Photo by Franck Castel/ABACAPRESS.COM
    French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron leave their local polling station. (Getty Images)

    France's political parties have scrambled to form political alliances after President Emmanuel Macron's surprise move to call a parliamentary election, reshaping the political landscape into three large blocs.

    From the far-right National Rally to the leftwing New Popular Front and Macron's centrist alliance called 'Together', here is an overview of the campaign pledges made ahead of Sunday's second voting round.

    Read the full story from Reuters here

  • Results in overseas French territories coming in

    A voter casts their ballot at a polling station at the Ko We Kara cultural centre in Noumea, in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia, during the second round of France's legislative elections on July 7, 2024. France votes in legislative elections on July 7 that will be decisive in determining its political future and could see the far right become the largest party in parliament for the first time. (Photo by Delphine MAYEUR / AFP) (Photo by DELPHINE MAYEUR/AFP via Getty Images)
    A voter casts their ballot at a polling station at the Ko We Kara cultural centre in Noumea, in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia. (AFP via Getty Images)

    People have voted in French overseas territories and some of the results have already been announced.

    In New Caledonia, a Pacific territory, a pro-independence Indigenous Kanak candidate won a seat in France’s parliament.

    Emmanuel Tjibaou is the first pro-independence candidate to win a seat in the national assembly since 1986.

    On the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, four left-wing candidates held off National Rally.

  • Turnout in French elections predicted to be 67%

    Turnout in the French elections has been forecast to be at 67%, according to two separate groups.

    Both pollsters Ipsos and consultancy firm Elabe have forecast that two out of three French people will have voted by the time polls close.

  • Shopkeepers put up barricades in fear of post-election riots

    Shops are being boarded up in anticipation of post-election rioting, reports France 24.

    "We're a little afraid of having everything stolen or ransacked. Theft is one thing, but if they ransack our store it's complicated, we won't have any more work. That will be an issue," said sales assistant Mélanie Giaconella, who works in Grenoble.

    Protesters filled the streets of Paris after National Rally made historic gains in the first round of elections last Sunday, some of whom smashed shop windows and set fire to bins.

    Pedestrians walk past a Grand Optical shop, protected by wooden boards for the possible demonstrations at Place de la Republique in Paris, on July 7, 2024, during the second round of France's legislative election. France votes in legislative elections on July 7, 2024 that will be decisive in determining its political future and could see the far right become the largest party in parliament for the first time. (Photo by Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP) (Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images)
    Pedestrians walk past a boarded up shop at Place de la Republique in Paris. (Getty Images)
    PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 06: Dozens of stores are barricaded themselves on the eve of the second round of parliamentary elections, in anticipation of possible protests after the results are announced in Paris, France on July 06, 2024. Several sectors are concerned, including the Rue de Rivoli, the Opera area and Champs-Elysees. The French Ministry of the Interior has announced the deployment of 30,000 police officers across France, including 5,000 in Paris, to deal with possible unrests. (Photo by Luc Auffret/Anadolu via Getty Images)
    A worker barricades a shop ahead of tonight's election results. (Getty Images)
    The windows of the MONOPRIX store are protected by wooden plates in anticipation of a demonstration in reaction to the results of the second round of the French legislative elections on July 7, so that demonstrators and thugs can t break them, in Lyon, France, on July 7, 2024. (Photo by Matthieu Delaty / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP) (Photo by MATTHIEU DELATY/Hans Lucas/AFP via Getty Images)
    A shop in Lyon is boarded up to protect against potential rioting. (Getty Images)
  • France election 2024: Everything you need to know

    Rassemblement National (RN, extreme right) leaflet for the early legislative elections with a photo portrait of Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella smiling and the phrase Bardella prime minister in Paris, France on July 07, 2024. (Photo by Amaury Cornu / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP) (Photo by AMAURY CORNU/Hans Lucas/AFP via Getty Images)
    The National Rally's Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella. (Getty Images)

    France goes to the polls on Sunday for the second round of its most crucial election in decades.

    The hard-Right National Rally (RN) topped the first round of voting last month with 33 per cent, while the Left-wing New Popular Front alliance came second with 28 per cent.

    Together, Emmanuel Macron’s centrist coalition, came a distant third with around 20 per cent.

    Read the full story from the Telegraph here

  • 'Freedom, tolerance and respect for others at stake' in French elections

    Voters at a Paris polling station were acutely aware of the the far-reaching consequences for France and beyond.

    “The individual freedoms, tolerance and respect for others is what at stake today,” said Thomas Bertrand, a 45-year-old voter who works in advertising.

    Racism and antisemitism have marred the electoral campaign, along with Russian disinformation campaigns, and more than 50 candidates reported being physically attacked — highly unusual for France. The government is deploying 30,000 police on voting day.

    Read more from Reuters here.

  • Voices from France's parliamentary election

    French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, right, waits to vote for the second round of the legislative elections, Sunday, July 7, 2024 in Vanves, outside Paris. Voting has begun in mainland France on Sunday in pivotal runoff elections that could hand a historic victory to Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally and its inward-looking, anti-immigrant vision — or produce a hung parliament and years of political deadlock. (Alain Jocard, Pool via AP)
    French prime minister Gabriel Attal waits to vote in Vanves, outside Paris. (Alamy)

    Following are some views of some voters as France voted in a parliamentary election on Sunday that could see the far-right National Rally (RN) emerge as the dominant political force.

    Centrist president Emmanuel Macron called a snap election after his ticket was trounced by the RN in European Parliament elections last month, a move apparently aimed at wrong-footing the party.

    "I'm mad at the government and in particular at the president that they have taken this irresponsible risk," said Frederic Maillard, a doctor from the central town of Tours.

    Read the full story from Reuters here

  • ‘Our backs are against the wall’: French grassroots mobilise against far right

    Paris, France. 23rd June, 2024. Protesters march chanting slogans and holding placards reading
    Protesters in Paris hold placards reading "Ma France à moi c'est pas la leur, celle qui vote RN" ("My France is not theirs, the one that votes RN"). (Alamy)

    The truck rumbled through the streets of Montpellier, eliciting insults and bursts of applause as it made its way through the French city. As it rolled past onlookers, the giant screens on its sides scrolled through various pieces of legislation that the far-right National Rally had voted against, from measures to combat domestic and sexual violence to providing meals and school supplies for children in need.

    It was one of dozens of grassroots efforts that have sprung up in recent weeks as France hurtles towards the second round of snap parliamentary elections that could see Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigrant party form a government in a historic first.

    “This is the country we love. It’s built us up; it’s made us who we are,” said Akli Alliouat, one of the organisers behind the Montpellier truck. “And I find it hard to accept that this France of ours is tipping into hatred, contempt and inequality.”

    Read the full article about how activist groups have sprung up across France to defeat National Rally on the Guardian here

  • How could a National Rally government affect Channel crossings?

    A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, from a Border Force vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel, as migrant Channel crossings near 10,000 for the year so far. Picture date: Friday May 24, 2024.
    A group migrants being brought into Dover, from a Border Force vessel. (Alamy)

    While they have no shortage of ideological differences, Labour's Sir Keir Starmer has said his government would be ready to work with a National Rally-led France on Channel crossings should they get into power.

    "That's what serious government is about," the UK's new prime minister said.

    Asked in 2023 how Britain and France could work together on this issue of asylum, Marine Le Pen indicated her priority would be the stop asylum seekers coming to France in the first place.

    "Britain wants to protect its borders and therefore prevent illegal immigrants from entering the UK. They happen to come from France,” she said, according to the Telegraph.

    “We have to have the capacity, Great Britain and France bilaterally, to be able to go and see the countries from which these illegal immigrants originate to make joint flights, to send the illegal immigrants back to their country of origin."

    However, political scientist Douglas Webber told Yahoo News last week that "from a technical perspective" he is not sure there's much more the French police can do, particularly as France has a deficit of €154bn (£131bn)

  • Turnout up by 21.6% compared to last election

    The voter turnout in the second round of the French parliamentary election stood at 59.71% by 5pm local time.

    That's up from 38.11% in the last parliamentary election of 2022, according to France's Interior Ministry.

    It is on par with the first round of voting last Sunday, which saw a 59.39% turnout by 5pm.

    At midday turnout had already hit 26.6% – the highest for that time of day since 1981. This is perhaps an indicator of just how much is at stake in this election, and the sense of political division in France.

    Pollsters Harris Interactive and Ipsos have forecast final turnout to hit 67% – a level unseen since 1997.

  • Emmanuel Macron casts his ballot

    French president Emmanuel Macron could be seen grinning at polling clerks as he cast his ballot earlier today.

    Sharing the moment in a post on X, he wrote, "A voté", meaning "Voted".

    Presidential elections in France are run separately to votes for the national Assembly, and Macron has said he intends to stay on as president until his term ends in 2027, regardless of how badly his party performs today.

  • What time will we find out the results?

    A french citizen is seeing casting his ballot at a polling station while voting during the second round of french legislative elections opposing hereduring the second round of french legislative elections opposing here, Claudie Chretien, NFP (Nouveau Front Populaire) candidate against Marine Hamelet RN (Rassemblement National), in Moissac, France on 7 July 2024.
    A French voter casts his ballot at a polling station in Moissac in the south of France. (Alamy)

    Voting is due to end at 8pm local time (7pm BST), at which point nationwide projections will be published by pollsters based on a partial vote count.

    Historically, these poll results have been fairly reliable, but official results will gradually be announced throughout the evening.

    France is known for its fast and efficient vote counting, meaning we could potentially see final results by the end of the night.

  • How does France's voting system work?

    France's electoral system is slightly more complex than the UK's system, with voting split into two rounds.

    In the first round, any candidates within a constituency who wins over 50% of the vote is automatically elected. If no candidates achieves this, a second ballot is held.

    For the French national assembly elections, candidates who secure more than 12.5% of the votes of registered voters automatically make it through.

    More than half of all seats saw three candidates qualify for the second round – a situation known as "triangulaires" – with a small number of seats producing an even more complex four-way competition.

    Historically, a more fragmented second round has benefited the far-right.

    You can read more about the two-round system here on Electoral Reform's website.

  • France faces three 'radically opposed' visions for nation

    People queue to vote during the second round of the legislative elections, Sunday, July 7, 2024 in Paris. France votes Sunday in pivotal runoff elections that could hand a historic victory to Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally and its inward-looking, anti-immigrant vision — or produce a hung parliament and years of political deadlock. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)
    People queue to vote during the second round of the French legislative elections. (AP)

    As he walked towards his polling station in the affluent town of Conflans Sainte-Honorine, west of Paris, one voter summarised the sense of division in France.

    "The country is facing three radically opposed views of society", said retiree Olivier Grisal as he headed to vote with his wife.

    "There's the far right, there is Macronism which in my view is also dangerous and has dictatorial tendencies and then there's the left which is also not great," he said.

    Raphael Glucksmann, a member of European Parliament who led France's leftist ticket in last month's EU elections, struck a similar tone last week.

    He told France Inter radio: "France is on the cliff-edge and we don't know if we're going to jump."