Front National will probably fail to set up parliamentary group

Graeme Atkinson - 13 06 17

The party of President Macron, La République en marche (REM), now looks set to win an overall majority in the next lower house of Parliament next Sunday.

Both the Socialist Party (13.8%) and the mainstream Conservative Right (Les Républicains, 21.56%) were unable to stop the REM landslide that grabbed 32% of the vote. 51.3% abstained, an all-time high in French history.

According to surveys, the FN could win between 1 and 10 seats in the National Assembly. It currently has 2. Marine Le Pen is ahead in her constituency of Pas-de-Calais and will face a REM candidate in what is set to be a very close race.

Outgoing FN MP Gilbert Collard, from Gard, also has a slight lead but his re-election will be difficult. In Vaucluse, another part of Southern France, where Marion Maréchal-Le Pen decided not to seek another term, Hervé de Lépinau will face a tough challenge against a REM candidate.

It is almost certain that the party will not get the 15 MPs that are necessary to form a parliamentary group. Addressing her supporters on Sunday night, Marine Le Pen blamed the two-ballot, non-proportional system for the FN’s failure.

While this is partly true, her failed presidential campaign and the growing discontent with her policy of “neither Left nor Right”, as well as her refusal to drop her agenda of leaving the Euro, might also explain that FN got only 2.99 million vote, whereas Le Pen was supported by 10.5 million in the presidential election. When compared with the 2012 legislative election, the party lost support (3.53 million votes and 136%).


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