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CORRESPONDENT

Euro Nationalists Could Have Biggest-Ever Win in French Elections

John Gizzi By Tuesday, 11 June 2024 07:14 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

With French voters reeling after President Emmanuel Macron's announcement Sunday of a "snap" election of the parliament June 30, pundits and polls throughout Europe and the U.S. have started to analyze the chances of right-of-center nationalists winning.

Early signs are that they could not only take the National Assembly but put National Rally (RN) leader Marine Le Pen in a position to become prime minister — by far the biggest victory in Europe for any nationalist party.

According to a new survey of French voters by the Toluna Harris Interactive firm, the RN would leap from its present 88 seats to 235 to 265 seats. However, while this would make it the largest party in the assembly, it is not enough for a majority in the 577-seat chamber.

In sharp contrast, the same survey showed that Macron's centrist Renaissance Party would plummet from its present 250 seats to 125-to-155 seats — a decline of 80 seats from its current majority in the assembly. Left-of-center parties would win 115- to 145 seats, according to Toluna Harris Interactive.

Should these numbers hold, the result would be a "hung parliament" with the major parties trying to forge a coalition that would agree on a prime minister chosen by Macron who would then form a new government.

If the RN reached a majority of seats in the assembly — the so-called "magic 289"— Macron would almost certainly have to appoint arch-enemy and two-time opponent Le Pen as prime minister.

Such a "cohabitation" between opponents has occurred before, as when the center-right parties won a majority in the assembly in 1986 and Socialist President Francois Mitterrand was forced to name conservative Jacques Chirac as prime minister.

"He's not Mitterrand 2," Anne Elisabeth Moutet, Paris columnist for the Daily Telegraph, told Newsmax. "He can't run again [in 2027] Our considered opinion is that he's nuts!"

Noting the analogies Macron admirers have made to Charles de Gaulle calling elections after widespread violence by college students in May of 1968 and winning big, Moutet said: "In 1968 de Gaulle knew very well he had a good chunk of the country behind him. Not everyone likes spoiled kids throwing paving stones at the police calling them Nazis. Also, de Gaulle's historic stature was massive. Macron is hated. He also is a bad politician. He hates politics as 'messy,' his cabinet was a bunch of nobodies unlikely to threaten him, and he treated his Members of Parliament like low-level employees."

For her part, Le Pen, 55, has made three runs for president and successively improved her showing to the point she drew 43% against Macron in the 2022 runoff.

Even detractors admit she has done much to help her party "detoxify" its past reputation as racist and antisemitic — an image her supporters insist is the result of years of controversial statements by her father, party founder and seven-time presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen.

These days, her message is a hardline on law and order and illegal immigration.

In terms of traditional conservatism, Le Pen is more populist than conservative. She supports increasing the size of the French government (to deal with foreigners trying to get into France illegally, she explains), supports France's liberal abortion law, and opposes arming Ukraine and calls for immediate peace talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

On illegal immigration and Ukraine, a "Prime Minister Le Pen" would immediately clash with Macron.

Under French election law, there are contests for every seat in all 577 districts and if a candidate wins 50% on June 30, he or she is automatically elected.

Failure to secure a majority means a runoff July 7 between the top two vote-getters.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
With French voters reeling after President Emmanuel Macron's announcement Sunday of a "snap" election of the parliament June 30, pundits and polls throughout Europe and the U.S. have started to analyze the chances of right-of-center nationalists winning.
emmanuel macron, marine le pen, elections, parliament, nationalists
631
2024-14-11
Tuesday, 11 June 2024 07:14 AM
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