Connect with us

World

European elections latest: Macron calls snap election after humiliating EU defeat

Published

on

French president Emmanuel Macron has called for new parliamentary elections after suffering a humiliating defeat in the European elections.

Marine Le Pen’s far-right National rally won 32 per cent of the vote – more than double that of the president’s Renaissance on 15.4 per cent – underlining her credentials as frontrunner for France’s next presidential vote.

Mr Macron will remain in power until 2027, but Ms Le Pen’s strong showing, notching a 10-point increase on the last EU election in 2019, will weaken his hold on power. It could also prompt high-level defections from his centrist camp as the succession battle to replace him heats up.

Jordan Bardella, the National Rally’s lead candidate, had earlier called for fresh French parliamentary elections. “Emmanuel Macron is this evening a weakened president,” the 28-year-old said in his victory speech. “The president cannot remain deaf to the message sent by the French tonight.”

Ms Le Pen welcomed Mr Macron’s call, saying: “We are ready to take over the power if the French give us their trust in the upcoming national elections.”

Ms Le Pen and Mr Bardella sought to frame the EU election as a mid-term referendum on Macron’s mandate, tapping into discontent with immigration, crime and a two-year inflation crisis.

With widespread expectations of a bruising loss, government officials sought to downplay the importance of the European poll, pledging to maintain policy focus and arguing that EU elections are a poor predictor of presidential voting.

But the symbolism of the loss is significant, and could have real implications.

Follow live below

Continue Reading