National Rally party leads in exit polls after first round of voting in France

Early polling data from the first round of France’s parliamentary election indicated a significant increase in support for the right-wing National Rally party.

Initial projections reported by France 2 show National Rally securing 34 percent of the vote, followed by the left-wing New Popular Front alliance with 28.1 percent. French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Together bloc came in third with 20.3 percent. These preliminary results are not final, with a more accurate outcome expected by 10 pm local time.

Candidates are elected in the first round only if they receive an absolute majority of votes and garner support from over 25 percent of the registered local electorate. If no candidate achieves this, a second round of voting takes place. This round includes the top two candidates and any other candidates who received more than 12.5 percent of the registered voters' support. The candidate who secures the most votes in this second round wins the seat.

“First-round victories tend to say little about the overall results (absent a surprisingly high number of wins obtained by a specific party),” explained  Antonio Barroso, deputy director of Research at Teneo, according to CNBC. “This is why, beyond the overall percentage of votes for each party, the main issue to watch on Sunday night is how many candidates from each party will make it to the second round.”

“If, as expected, Together does poorly in the first round, there will be numerous races between the NFP and the RN,” he added.

Voter polls have suggested that the National Rally party is expected to win around 35 percent of the vote in the election. Should this happen, the party would see a significant increase in seats in France’s parliament. The party currently has 89 seats. However, the projections show that no party will have an outright majority of seats in parliament. 

Regardless of the election outcome, Macron will remain in office as President until 2027. However, he is likely to face pressure to elect a new prime minister from National Rally. While Macron would continue to have power regarding the country’s foreign policy and national defense, a new prime minister would have significant influence over France’s domestic and economic policy.

Image: Title: National Rally