Le Pen’s far right is on the cusp of power in France – what happens next?

The “clarification” President Emmanuel Macron invoked as he called France’s snap elections has clarified this much: that French voters no longer want him to govern alone – or indeed at all. Exactly who he should share power with remains an open question after an inconclusive first round that has handed Marine Le Pen’s far right a commanding win, but not yet a decisive one.

The anti-immigrant National Rally (RN) led a first round of voting on Sunday in exceptionally high-stakes elections that could put France’s government in the hands of a far-right party for the first time since World War II.

Le Pen has urged voters to push her party over the line and hand it a majority of seats in the National Assembly, an outcome that would force Macron to share power with RN’s new poster boy Jordan Bardella, Le Pen’s choice for PM.

Another outcome, which many pollsters say is the most likely, would be a hung parliament in which no coalition can muster a majority, bringing gridlock to the European Union’s second-largest economy and its leading military power.

One thing is certain: France’s constitution says there can be no new parliamentary election for another year, so an immediate repeat vote is not an option.

  • Can the far right win an absolute majority?

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
French far right eyes power as rivals wrangle over scope of anti-Le Pen front
Le Pen’s far-right party wins first round as Macron’s snap elections gamble backfires
How Bolloré, the ‘French Murdoch’, carried Le Pen’s far right to the brink of power