Far-right Le Pen plots victory for parliament after Macron's loss

Marine Le Pen, the French far-right leader, gathered her party's soldiers on Monday to grieve her loss in the French presidential election. However, she also planned how to win the June parliamentary vote and secure a majority in the National Assembly.

Far-right Le Pen plots victory for parliament after Macron's loss

Emmanuel Macron, the centrist president, beat her by 58.5% and 41.5% to win reelection on Sunday. Le Pen however received her highest level of support in her three attempts at becoming France's leader. This gave the 53-year old nationalist momentum and she charged into the "third round" voting in an attempt to overturn Macron's majority in parliament.

Le Pen called Monday's national meeting of her far right National Rally party. French media reported that Le Pen said to party officials that she would like to renew her representation of northern France's working-class stronghold. However, this was not confirmed by French media.

Sunday's high Le Pen support revealed a fractured European Union nation. She refers to the "France de la forgotten" -- the working class that has been hit hard by rising inflation, the fallout from sanctions against Russia for its invasion in Ukraine -- and what she labels the "elitists", who are staunchly pro EU voters.

It is crucial to win enough seats in parliament that Le Pen can break the wall of fear that has kept her from running for president.

Le Pen's program which would severely crack down on immigrants and reduce the role of NATO and EU in France, drew many voters to Macron's side. This was not because they supported the 44-year old president, but their desire for blocking his populist opponent.

Some voters were also disenfranchised by a revamped France under Le Pen, which had less Europe. Her goal was to create an "Europe of Nations," which would replace the current system with a patriotic version. This would have given some powers back to EU countries whose sovereignty she and other populist leaders believe has been diminished.

Matteo Salvini of the right-wing Italian government, an ally to Le Pen, promised to carry on their shared project towards this vision.

He tweeted late Sunday, "Onward, Together, For a Europe Built on Work, Family, Security, Rights and Freedom."

Le Pen, in her concession speech Sunday night, reached out to other right-wing "patriots", to help her break Macron's majority at parliament.

However, the open-arms policy won't cover those who left Le Pen during the presidential election, according to top party officials. They refer to party members who backed Eric Zemmour (who was eliminated in round one of the voting).

Zemmour insulted Le Pen following her loss and called for an alliance to defeat Macron in the same breath.

Louis Aliot (mayor of Perpignan, and top National Rally official) said Monday on France Inter radio, "He should inflate his head which is enormous."

Marion Marechal, Le Pen's niece and a prominent supporter of Zemmour, demanded a meeting to form a far-right electoral alliance. Marechal tweeted, "The stakes for the legislative elections are crucial."

Macron and his allies currently control 313 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly. Macron and his allies currently hold 313 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly. Le Pen's party holds 8 seats, but hopes to have broad support from other parties.

Le Pen's ambitions to become a parliamentary leader are hindered by France's voting system.

If she had been elected president, Le Pen would have changed to a more proportional system, which would have allowed her party to gain relevancy by at least being able form a group with greater power.

France's parliamentary vote takes place in two rounds, on June 12th and June 19th. The first round elects candidates who have won a majority of votes. No one wins, which is a common occurrence in France’s fractured political landscape. Candidates who receive at least 12.5% vote in a race are eligible to go into a runoff in June 19.

Sunday's defeat of the president is still a sign of hope for far-right militants tomorrow.

Jordan Bardella, interim president of the party, stated that "the movement we created, it's at the beginning of the beginning."


 

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