Polls open for second round of French election after far-right win last week – latest

Polls open for second round of French election after far-right win last week - latest
French PM casts vote in pivotal runoff election that could propel far right to power

France is heading to the ballot box today in one of its most significant elections in years, with Marine Le Pen’s far-right party hoping for a historic victory.

Opinion polls are forecasting that the National Rally (RN) will win most of the votes but fall short of a majority – plunging the country into a chaotic hung parliament weeks for the Paris Olympic Games.

It is the first time the French far-right have had a realistic chance of taking control of the National Assembly following their victory in the first-round of the snap elections.

After the shock result, centrist and leftist parties joined forces in a bid to hinder the anti-immigration party’s chances.

President Emmanuel Macron called the vote four weeks ago in response to the RN’s victory in the European election but now faces the possibility of his authority being severely dented.

Voting began across France at 8am local time and exit polls are expected 12 hours later. Le Pen and the RN’s leader Jordan Bardella need a 289-seat majority to allow them to claim the prime minister’s job.

Watch live: France’s snap election continues as polls open in decisive second round

Jabed Ahmed7 July 2024 11:35

Former French president casts his ballot

Jabed Ahmed7 July 2024 11:24

French voter turnout significantly higher than last time by midday, interior ministry says

Voter turnout in the second round of a French parliamentary election on Sunday was significantly higher than in the second round of the last election in 2022 by midday, the interior ministry has said.

Turnout stood at 26.3% by around 12pm, up from 18.99% in 2022.

Jabed Ahmed7 July 2024 11:16

Voter turnout expected to be high

A little more than 49 million people are registered to vote in the elections, and voter turnout is expected to be high.

In the first round of voting, 67 per cent of the electorate took to the polls – the highest levels since 1997.

(AFP via Getty Images)
Jabed Ahmed7 July 2024 10:00

What next for Macron if he loses?

Mr Macron stunned the country and angered many of his political allies when he called the snap election after a trashing by the RN in last month’s European parliamentary vote.

Whatever the final result, his political agenda now appears dead, three years before the end of his presidency.

Jordan Bardella, RN’s candidate for prime minister, said the party would decline to form a government if it doesn’t win a majority, although Ms Le Pen has said it might try if it falls just short.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, who looks likely to lose his job in the post-election shakeup, has dismissed suggestions Mr Macron’s centrists could seek to form a cross-party government in the event of a hung parliament.

An RN majority would force Mr Macron into an awkward “cohabitation” with Mr Bardella as prime minister.

Jabed Ahmed7 July 2024 09:50

What happened in the first round of voting?

In the first round of voting last Sunday, RN and its allies won 33 per cent of the vote, followed by a left-wing bloc with 28 per cent and Mr Macron’s centrists with just 20 per cent.

This was a huge setback for Mr Macron, who called the snap election after his party suffered a crushing defeat by Ms Le Pen’s party in the European parliament elections last month.

Read the full report here:

Jabed Ahmed7 July 2024 09:40

Pictured: French prime minister Gabriel Attal casts his ballot

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Jabed Ahmed7 July 2024 09:29

Polls open in France for historic election

Voting has begun in France in a historic parliamentary run-off election that will reconfigure the political landscape.

Polls opened at 8am and will close at 8pm in larger cities, with initial projections expected the moment voting ends, based on an exit poll.

Currently, opinion polls forecast the far-right National Rally (RN) to win the most votes but likely fall short of a majority.

The rise of Marine Le Penn’s RN could plunge the country into a chaotic hung parliament weeks before the Paris Olympic Games and severely dent President Emmanuel Macron’s authority.

Follow The Independent’s live blog for the latest updates.

Jabed Ahmed7 July 2024 09:23

Source: independent.co.uk