French election results – live: Le Pen’s far-right suffer shock loss as PM Gabriel Attal to offer resignation


Marine Le Pen’s far-right party has suffered a shock loss in the second and final round of national elections just weeks after it looked like they could finally seize power in Paris.

National Rally (NR) managed to win 143 seats during Sunday’s election, a significant increase on the 88 MPs it had in the previous assembly but far less than the 33 per cent of the vote they won in the first round election last month.

Their initial success came after French President Emmanual Macron called a snap election following successful European elections for NR.

After Ms Le Pen’s party’s first round success, a leftwing alliance worked with Mr Macron’s centrist Together party to ensure they did not take votes away from one another to prevent a final NR victory.

Their plan was successful but has left all three parties with far from a majority of the votes, meaning a hung parliament is likely.

Current prime minister Gabriel Attal, part of Mr Macron’s party, has offered to resign while the French president considers a replacement.

Key Points

Tear gas and riot police deployed against crowds gathering at Paris landmark after French election results

09:15 , Tom Watling

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Tear gas and riot police deployed against crowds gathering at Paris landmark

Watch live view of French National Assembly as country faces political deadlock after election result

08:45 , Tom Watling

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Watch live view of French National Assembly as country faces political deadlock

Far right thwarted by shock win for left in French elections

08:15 , Tom Watling

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Far right thwarted by shock win for left in French elections

Here we have some of the latest photos France

07:45 , Tom Watling

Below we have some of the latest photos coming out of France last night as the exit polls showed that Marine Le Pen’s far right National Rally had failed to capitalise on their electoral success during the first round of voting last month.

Left wing supporters light red flares as they celebrate during a rally after the announcement of the results of the second round of France's parliamentary elections in Lyon, eastern France (AFP via Getty Images)Left wing supporters light red flares as they celebrate during a rally after the announcement of the results of the second round of France's parliamentary elections in Lyon, eastern France (AFP via Getty Images)

Left wing supporters light red flares as they celebrate during a rally after the announcement of the results of the second round of France’s parliamentary elections in Lyon, eastern France (AFP via Getty Images)

People gather at the Republique plaza in Paris after the second round of the legislative election on Sunday (AP)People gather at the Republique plaza in Paris after the second round of the legislative election on Sunday (AP)

People gather at the Republique plaza in Paris after the second round of the legislative election on Sunday (AP)

Thousands gathered at Republique Square in Paris for the election night results (AFP via Getty Images)Thousands gathered at Republique Square in Paris for the election night results (AFP via Getty Images)

Thousands gathered at Republique Square in Paris for the election night results (AFP via Getty Images)

Who are the New Popular Front?

07:30 , Namita Singh

About a month back, there was no New Popular Front, which is now set to preside over the most seats in the French parliament and is likely to give the new prime minister to the country.

The alliance was hastily assembled after president Emmanuel Macron called a surprise snap parliament election.

The NFP – made up of the Communist Party, the hard left France Unbowed, the Green party and the Socialist Party – has not said who would be its pick for prime minister.

People celebrate in Place de la Republique following the legislative election results on 7 July 2024 in Paris, France (Getty Images)People celebrate in Place de la Republique following the legislative election results on 7 July 2024 in Paris, France (Getty Images)

People celebrate in Place de la Republique following the legislative election results on 7 July 2024 in Paris, France (Getty Images)

Among the key figures who could likely emerge as the prime ministerial face of the alliance include Jean-Luc Melenchon.

The 72-year-old has been a fixture in French left-wing politics for decades and held ministerial posts in past governments, when he was a member of the Socialist Party.

He ran for president in 2012, 2017 and 2022, improving his score each time. He came third in 2022, just behind far-right leader Marine Le Pen. Macron won that election.

The other contenders include Marine Tonderlier, the leader of the Greens, Raphael Glucksmann of Socialist Party and Laurent Berger, a former head of one of France’s main trade unions, the moderate CFDT.

Macron to wait for full results before announcing major decision

07:15 , Namita Singh

In a brief statement, the Elysee, the French presidential palace said Emmanuel Macron is awaiting the full results of all 577 constituencies “before taking the necessary decisions.”

“In his role as guarantor of our institutions, the president will ensure that the sovereign choice of the French people is respected,” it said.

France’s president Emmanuel Macron exits a polling booth, adorned with curtains displaying the colors of the flag of France, to vote in the second round of France’s legislative election at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France on 7 July 2024 (AFP via Getty)France’s president Emmanuel Macron exits a polling booth, adorned with curtains displaying the colors of the flag of France, to vote in the second round of France’s legislative election at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France on 7 July 2024 (AFP via Getty)

France’s president Emmanuel Macron exits a polling booth, adorned with curtains displaying the colors of the flag of France, to vote in the second round of France’s legislative election at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France on 7 July 2024 (AFP via Getty)

‘Our victory has been merely delayed’

07:00 , Namita Singh

Marine Le Pen, who will likely be the party’s candidate for the 2027 presidential election, said that Sunday’s ballot, in which the RN made major gains compared with previous elections, had sown the seeds for the future.

“Our victory has been merely delayed,” she said.

Member of Parliament for the French right-wing party National Rally (Rassemblement National, RN), Marine Le Pen at the party’s headquarters after preliminary results of the second round of the French parliamentary elections, in Paris, France, 07 July 2024 (EPA)Member of Parliament for the French right-wing party National Rally (Rassemblement National, RN), Marine Le Pen at the party’s headquarters after preliminary results of the second round of the French parliamentary elections, in Paris, France, 07 July 2024 (EPA)

Member of Parliament for the French right-wing party National Rally (Rassemblement National, RN), Marine Le Pen at the party’s headquarters after preliminary results of the second round of the French parliamentary elections, in Paris, France, 07 July 2024 (EPA)

For Ms Le Pen’s National Rally (RN), the result was a far cry from weeks during which opinion polls consistently projected it would win comfortably.

The left and centrist alliances cooperated after the first round of voting last week by pulling scores of candidates from three-way races to build a unified anti-RN vote.

In his first reaction, RN leader Jordan Bardella, Ms Le Pen’s protege, called the cooperation between anti-RN forces a “disgraceful alliance” that he said would paralyse France.

France shifts to the left, but risks policy paralysis

06:45 , Namita Singh

France faced a hung parliament and the prospect of taxing negotiations starting today to form a government, after a surprise left-wing surge blocked Marine Le Pen’s quest to bring the far-right to power.

The leftist New Popular Front (NFP) emerged as the dominant force in the National Assembly after Sunday’s election, but with no single group securing a working majority the possibilities include the NFP forming a minority government or the building of a broad, unwieldy coalition.

The result leaves the euro zone’s second-largest economy in limbo, heralding a period of political instability just weeks before Paris hosts the Olympic Games.

Emmanuel Macron ended up with a hugely fragmented parliament, in what is set to weaken France’s role in the European Union and further afield, and make it hard for anyone to push through a domestic agenda.

The left won 182 seats, Mr Macron’s centrist alliance 168 and Ms Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) and allies 143, interior ministry data cited by Le Monde newspaper showed.

“There’s really going to be a vacuum when it comes to France‘s legislative ability,” said Simon Harvey, head of FX analysis at Monex Europe in London.

Baptiste Fourasti, a 23-year-old designer in Place de la Republique, said, “we weren’t expecting it, neither were the polls. We are happy that the French people succeeded once more in blocking the far-right.”

However he was worried that far-right may grow in strength and win next time if the next government is not beyond reproach.

“It will be difficult with a hung parliament, but better than if it was the far-right (ahead),” he said.

How have France’s allies responded to snap poll predictions?

06:30 , Namita Singh

Emmanuel Macron had called the snap poll in an attempt to wrest the initiative back from Marine Le Pen but his own party was left trailing behind an alliance of leftist parties that performed far better than expected to take first place.

Several early reactions from overseas rejoiced that the immediate threat of a far-right government had been averted.

“In Paris enthusiasm, in Moscow disappointment, in Kyiv relief. Enough to be happy in Warsaw,” Polish prime minister Donald Tusk said on X.

“The worst has been avoided,” said Nils Schmid, the foreign policy spokesperson for chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats in Germany, where the far-right has also surged in popularity during a cost of living crisis.

“The president is politically weakened, even if he retains a central role in view of the unclear majority situation. Forming a government will be complicated,” Mr Schmid told the Funke media group.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez’s party congratulated the leftist alliance, called the New Popular Front, for a victory that “stops the far-right from reaching the government”.

Nikos Androulakis, the head of Greece’s Socialist PASOK party, said the French people had “raised a wall against the far right, racism and intolerance and guarded the timeless principles of the French Republic: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity”.

Colombia’s leftist firebrand president, Gustavo Petro, also congratulated the French for keeping out Ms Le Pen.

“There are battles that last just a few days but (which) define humanity’s fate. France has gone through one of these,” he said.

An EU official, speaking on condition of anonymity, called it a “huge relief” but added: “what it means for Europe on a day to day basis remains to be seen though.”

Clashes in France as poll predicts surprise win for left coalition

06:15 , Namita Singh

Riots erupted in France after polls predicted a surprise win for the left.

Footage showed police in riots gear as they attempted to contain violent demonstrations in Paris and used tear gas to disperse the protesters.

Unlike other countries in Europe that are more accustomed to coalition governments, France doesn’t have a tradition of lawmakers from rival political camps coming together to form a majority. France is also more centralised than many other European countries, with many more decisions made in Paris.

French riot police run during clashes with demonstrators following partial results in the second round of the early French parliamentary elections, at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 7 July 2024 (Reuters)French riot police run during clashes with demonstrators following partial results in the second round of the early French parliamentary elections, at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 7 July 2024 (Reuters)

French riot police run during clashes with demonstrators following partial results in the second round of the early French parliamentary elections, at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 7 July 2024 (Reuters)

A protester kicks back a tear gas canister as clashes occur on the sidelines of an election night following the second round results of France’s legislative election at Republique Square in Paris on the night of 8 July 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)A protester kicks back a tear gas canister as clashes occur on the sidelines of an election night following the second round results of France’s legislative election at Republique Square in Paris on the night of 8 July 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

A protester kicks back a tear gas canister as clashes occur on the sidelines of an election night following the second round results of France’s legislative election at Republique Square in Paris on the night of 8 July 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

The president was hoping that with France’s fate in their hands, voters might shift from the far-right and left and return to mainstream parties closer to the center — where Emmanuel Macron found much of the support that won him the presidency in 2017 and again in 2022.

But rather than rally behind him, millions of voters seized on his surprise decision as an opportunity to vent their anger about inflation, crime, immigration and other grievances — including Mr Macron’s style of government.

What does Le Pen’s loss mean for France’s allies?

06:00 , Namita Singh

Many of France’s allies breathed a sigh of relief that the worst was averted as Marine Le Pen’s far-right failed to win a snap election yesterday but they noted that a messy coalition from a hung parliament could also pose headaches for Europe.

Ms Le Pen’s National Rally had been favourite to top the polls, raising the risk of France’s first far-right government since the second world war and threatening to upend economic and foreign policy in the euro zone’s second-largest economy.

Member of parliament for the French right-wing party National Rally (Rassemblement National, RN), Marine Le Pen addresses journalists at the party’s headquarters after preliminary results of the second round of the French parliamentary elections, in Paris, France, 07 July 2024 (EPA)Member of parliament for the French right-wing party National Rally (Rassemblement National, RN), Marine Le Pen addresses journalists at the party’s headquarters after preliminary results of the second round of the French parliamentary elections, in Paris, France, 07 July 2024 (EPA)

Member of parliament for the French right-wing party National Rally (Rassemblement National, RN), Marine Le Pen addresses journalists at the party’s headquarters after preliminary results of the second round of the French parliamentary elections, in Paris, France, 07 July 2024 (EPA)

In particular, Ukraine’s allies feared that Ms Le Pen-led government could be soft on Moscow and pare back military aid that Kyiv has relied on since the Russian invasion in 2022, though her party has latterly said Russia was a threat.

The National Rally’s defeat signals at least a temporary pushback against a far-right surge in Europe, but could herald a period of instability with a new government in an uneasy “cohabitation” with president Emmanuel Macron.

Left supporters rejoice after poll predictions

05:45 , Namita Singh

In Stalingrad Square, Paris, supporters on the left coalition cheered as projections showing the alliance in first place flashed on a giant screen. Cries of joy also rang out in Republique Plaza in eastern Paris, with people spontaneously hugging strangers and breaking into several minutes of nonstop applause after the projections landed.

People react after the second round of the French legislative elections results at Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 07 July 2024 (EPA)People react after the second round of the French legislative elections results at Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 07 July 2024 (EPA)

People react after the second round of the French legislative elections results at Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 07 July 2024 (EPA)

Marielle Castry, a medical secretary, was on the Metro in Paris when the projected results were first announced.

“Everybody had their smartphones and were waiting for the results and then everybody was overjoyed,” said the 55-year-old. “I had been stressed out since 9 June and the European elections. And now, I feel good. Relieved.”

What are the key challenges facing the leftist alliance?

05:30 , Namita Singh

A key question is whether the leftist alliance will stay united and agree on what course to take.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the hard-left France Unbowed, ruled out a broad coalition of parties of different stripes.

Raphael Glucksmann, from the Socialist Party, urged his alliance partners to act like “grown-ups”.

“We’re ahead, but we’re in a divided parliament,” he said. “We’re going to have to talk, to discuss, to engage in dialogue.”

The constitution does not oblige Emmanuel Macron to ask the leftist group to form a government, though that would be the usual step as it is the biggest group in parliament.

Demonstrators clash with police during a protest following the legislative election results on 7 July 2024 in Paris, France (Getty Images)Demonstrators clash with police during a protest following the legislative election results on 7 July 2024 in Paris, France (Getty Images)

Demonstrators clash with police during a protest following the legislative election results on 7 July 2024 in Paris, France (Getty Images)

In Mr Macron’s entourage, there was no indication of his next move.

“The question we’re going to have to ask ourselves tonight and in the coming days is: which coalition is capable of reaching the 289 seats to govern?” one person close to him told Reuters.

Some in his alliance, including former prime minister Edouard Philippe, envisaged a broad cross-party alliance but said it could not include the far-left France Unbowed.

Prime minister expresses disapproval of Macron’s decision to call snap election

05:19 , Namita Singh

With the Paris Olympics looming, prime minister Gabriel Attal said he was ready to stay at his post “as long as duty demands”.

President Emmanuel Macron has three years remaining on his presidential term.

Mr Attal made clearer than ever his disapproval of Mr Macron’s shock decision to call the election, saying “I didn’t choose this dissolution” of the outgoing National Assembly, where the president’s centrist alliance used to be single biggest group, albeit without an absolute majority.

France’s prime minister Gabriel Attal gives a speech following the first results of the second round of France’s legislative election at Matignon in Paris on 7 July 202 (AFP via Getty Images)France’s prime minister Gabriel Attal gives a speech following the first results of the second round of France’s legislative election at Matignon in Paris on 7 July 202 (AFP via Getty Images)

France’s prime minister Gabriel Attal gives a speech following the first results of the second round of France’s legislative election at Matignon in Paris on 7 July 202 (AFP via Getty Images)

Still, it was able to govern for two years, pulling in lawmakers from other camps to fight off efforts to bring it down.

The new legislature appears shorn of such stability.

When Mr Macron flies to Washington for a summit this week of the Nato alliance, he will leave a country with no clear idea who may be its next prime minister and facing the prospect that the president may be obliged to share power with a politician deeply opposed to his policies.

Prime minister to resign today

05:00 , Namita Singh

Prime minister Gabriel Attal said he would hand in his resignation today but would stay on in a care-taking capacity as long as needed.

It comes as polling agencies forecast the left would get 184-198 seats, Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance 160-169 and the RN and its allies 135-143.

The euro fell yesterday after the vote projections were announced.

“We should get a brief respite in the market … because we’re not seeing an extremist RN majority take place, but it’s likely to lead to political gridlock at least until the autumn of 2025,” said Aneeka Gupta, macroeconomic research director at WisdomTree.

Poll promises of New Popular Front alliance

04:30 , Namita Singh

The leftist New Popular Front (NFP) alliance, which wants to cap prices of essential goods like fuel and food, raise the minimum wage to a net €1,600 ($1,732) per month, hike wages for public sector workers and impose a wealth tax, immediately said it wanted to govern.

“The will of the people must be strictly respected … the president must invite the New Popular Front to govern,” said hard-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon.

The eurosceptic National Rally (RN) has worked under Marine Le Pen to shed a historic reputation for racism and antisemitism but many in French society still view its France-first stance and surging popularity with alarm.

People gather in front of Le Monument a la Republique statue during an election night rally following the first results of the second round of France’s legislative election at Republique Square in Paris on 7 July 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)People gather in front of Le Monument a la Republique statue during an election night rally following the first results of the second round of France’s legislative election at Republique Square in Paris on 7 July 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

People gather in front of Le Monument a la Republique statue during an election night rally following the first results of the second round of France’s legislative election at Republique Square in Paris on 7 July 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

There were hugs, screams of joy and tears of relief at the left’s gathering in Paris when the voting projections were announced.

Republique square in central Paris filled with crowds and a party atmosphere, with leftwing supporters playing drums, lighting flares, and chanting “We’ve won! We’ve won!”

I’m relieved. As a French-Moroccan, a doctor, an ecologist activist, what the far right was proposing to do as a government was craziness.

Hafsah Hachad, voter

The awkward leftist alliance, which the hard left, Greens and Socialists hastily put together before the vote, was far from having an absolute majority of 289 seats in the 577-seat assembly.

Official results were trickling in, with the results from most, if not all, constituencies likely in this morning.

Pollsters see leftist alliance first with up to 198 seats

04:00 , Namita Singh

France faced potential political deadlock after elections yesterday threw up a hung parliament, with a leftist alliance unexpectedly taking the top spot but no group winning a majority.

Voters delivered a major setback for Marine Le Pen’s nationalist, eurosceptic National Rally (RN), which opinion polls had predicted would win the second-round ballot but ended up in the third spot, according to pollsters’ projections.

The results were also a blow for centrist president Emmanuel Macron, who called the snap election to clarify the political landscape after his ticket took a battering at the hands of the RN in European Parliament elections last month.

He ended up with a hugely fragmented parliament, in what is set to weaken France’s role in the European Union and elsewhere abroad and make it hard for anyone to push through a domestic agenda.

The election will leave parliament divided in three big groups – the left, centrists, and the far right – with hugely different platforms and no tradition at all of working together.

Hung parliament sees France heading into unknown territory

02:59 , AP

A hung parliament is unknown territory for modern France.

Unlike other countries in Europe that are more accustomed to coalition governments, France doesn’t have a tradition of politicians from rival political camps coming together to form a majority. France is also more centralised than many other European countries, with many more decisions made in Paris.

The president was hoping that with France’s fate in their hands, voters might shift from the far right and left and return to mainstream parties closer to the centre – where Emmanuel Macron found much of the support that won him the presidency in 2017 and again in 2022.

But rather than rally behind him, millions of voters seized on his surprise decision as an opportunity to vent their anger.

Watch: Celebrations in Paris as far-right projected to come third in exit poll

02:31 , Andy Gregory

Bardella accuses Macron of ‘trying to paralyse our institutions’

02:02 , Andy Gregory

Here is more from National Rally leader Jordan Bardella’s speech after his distant hopes of becoming prime minister became even more so with Sunday’s exit poll projections:

“I say tonight with gravity that depriving millions of French people of the possibility of seeing their ideas brought to power will never be a viable destiny for France.

“Tonight, by deliberately trying to paralyse our institutions, Emmanuel Macron has not simply pushed the country towards uncertainty and instability, he has deprived the French people of any response to their day-to-day difficulties for many months to come.

“In the midst of a purchasing power crisis, with insecurity and disorder hitting the country hard, France is deprived of a majority, of a government to act, and therefore of a clear course to turn France around.”

French newspaper runs front page of Bardella titled: ‘The slap’

01:30 , Andy Gregory

Business newspaper Les Echos has run a front page showing a grim-faced Jordan Bardella with the headline “la claque” – which translates to “the slap”.

Spain’s PM hails ‘rejection of extreme right’ in France and UK

01:01 , Andy Gregory

Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez has hailed what he described as “the rejection of the extreme right” in both France and Britain.

He wrote on X/Twitter: “This week, two of the largest countries in Europe have chosen the same path that Spain chose a year ago: rejection of the extreme right and a decisive commitment to a social left that addresses people’s problems with serious and brave policies.

“The United Kingdom and France have said YES to progress and social advancement and NO to the regression in rights and freedoms. There is no agreement or government with the extreme right.”

Pollster points to far right’s own shortcomings over disappointing election result

Monday 8 July 2024 00:28 , Andy Gregory

Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella attributed their National Rally party’s setback to what Bardella termed the “disgraceful alliance” of leftists, who he said had caricatured the party and disrespected its voters.

But Ipsos pollster Brice Teinturier pointed to the party’s own shortcomings, including revelations before the run-off that several of its candidates had expressed xenophobic views, raising questions over whether the party had really ditched its more toxic past.

“What happened is also that RN candidates themselves showed in this campaign that they either were not ready or had in their ranks candidates that are antisemitic, xenophobic or homophobic,” Mr Teinturier told France 2 television.

What could happen next?

Sunday 7 July 2024 23:59 , Andy Gregory

France’s constitution states that president Emmanuel Macron will decide who to ask to form a government.

But whoever he picks faces a confidence vote in the National Assembly, which will convene for 15 days from 18 July – meaning Mr Macron needs to name someone acceptable to a majority of parliamentarians.

The president will likely be hoping to peel off Socialists and Greens from the leftist alliance, isolating Jean-Luc Melenchon’s France Unbowed (LFI), to form a centre-left coalition with his own bloc.

However, there was no sign of an imminent break-up of the New Popular Front at this stage.

Another possibility is a government of technocrats that would manage day-to-day affairs but not oversee structural changes. But it is not clear that the left-wing bloc would support this scenario, which would still require the backing of parliament.

Which notable results have been declared so far?

Sunday 7 July 2024 23:47 , Andy Gregory

Outgoing prime minister Gabriel Attal has retained his National Assembly seat in Hauts-de-Seine, according to results published by France’s interior ministry.

Under the banner of the New Popular Front, former Socialist president Francois Hollande also defeated his National Rally opponent by 43 per cent of the vote to 31 per cent, despite the Macron-backed Republican candidate refusing to withdraw in the second round of voting.

Aurelien Rousseau, a former Macron-allied health minister who resigned recently in protest against the controversial far right-backed immigration bill, was also elected under the New Popular Front banner.

Meanwhile, former health minister Olivier Veran – who held the prominent post during the Covid pandemic – was defeated by the leftist candidate in Isere.

Bernie Sanders congratulates French left

Sunday 7 July 2024 23:31 , Andy Gregory

Former US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has congratulated the French left “for taking on right-wing extremism and winning”.

Declared results widely mirror exit polling, reports suggest

Sunday 7 July 2024 23:23 , Andy Gregory

Le Monde is reporting the results of 558 of the 577 seats up for grabs in France’s National Assembly election, citing the interior ministry.

According to the newspaper, the New Popular Front alliance has so far secured 177, while Emmanuel Macron’s Ensemble coalition has 157, and the National Rally and its allies have 141.

 (Le Monde, citing France’s Interior Ministry) (Le Monde, citing France’s Interior Ministry)

(Le Monde, citing France’s Interior Ministry)

Clashes with riot police in Paris and Nantes

Sunday 7 July 2024 23:14 , Andy Gregory

There have been clashes with riot police in Paris and Nantes, with tear gas fired in the latter city, images taken by photojournalists suggest.

French riot police run during clashes with demonstrators at the Place de la Republique in Paris (REUTERS/Yara Nardi)French riot police run during clashes with demonstrators at the Place de la Republique in Paris (REUTERS/Yara Nardi)

French riot police run during clashes with demonstrators at the Place de la Republique in Paris (REUTERS/Yara Nardi)

A protester throws a projectile near burning bicycles  at the Place de la Republique (REUTERS/Yara Nardi)A protester throws a projectile near burning bicycles  at the Place de la Republique (REUTERS/Yara Nardi)

A protester throws a projectile near burning bicycles at the Place de la Republique (REUTERS/Yara Nardi)

Demonstrators clash with anti riot police in Nantes (LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)Demonstrators clash with anti riot police in Nantes (LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

Demonstrators clash with anti riot police in Nantes (LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

Anti-riot police officers charge protesters during a demonstration in Nantes (LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)Anti-riot police officers charge protesters during a demonstration in Nantes (LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

Anti-riot police officers charge protesters during a demonstration in Nantes (LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

Attal signals he will stay on as PM during Paris Olympics

Sunday 7 July 2024 22:57 , Andy Gregory

Despite intending to tender his resignation, French prime minister Gabriel Attal has signalled he will remain in the post during the upcoming Paris Olympics and for as long as needed – given that polling projections show that no party has won an outright majority.

There likely will be weeks of intense political negotiations to choose a new prime minister and form a government.

 (REUTERS) (REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

Latest Ipsos projections in French election

Sunday 7 July 2024 22:45 , Andy Gregory

Here is the most recent projection from Ipsos:

The leftist New Popular Front is expected to win between 177 and 192 seats, the Macron-backing Ensemble could win between 152 and 158, while the National Rally and its far-right allies are expected to take 138 to 145 seats.

Jubilation and relief in Paris at exit poll results

Sunday 7 July 2024 22:31 , Andy Gregory

In Paris’s Stalingrad square, supporters on the left cheered and applauded as exit poll projections showing the alliance ahead – and the far right in third place – flashed up on a giant screen.

Cries of joy also rang out in Republique plaza in eastern Paris, with people spontaneously hugging strangers and several minutes of nonstop applause after the projections landed.

But France’s far right nevertheless appears to have made significant gains on the 89 seats it currently holds, with Ipsos’ projections suggesting National Rally could win between 132 to 152 seats.

People attend a gathering for the election night following the second round results of France's legislative election at Republique Square in Paris (AFP via Getty Images)People attend a gathering for the election night following the second round results of France's legislative election at Republique Square in Paris (AFP via Getty Images)

People attend a gathering for the election night following the second round results of France’s legislative election at Republique Square in Paris (AFP via Getty Images)

Full report: Far right thwarted by shock win for left in French elections, according to exit polls

Sunday 7 July 2024 22:23 , Andy Gregory

France has voted to reject the far right, with a leftist coalition becoming the largest party in a hung parliament, shock exit poll results forecast.

In a dramatic turnaround on Sunday night, Marine Le Pen was dealt a bitter blow as Ipsos exit polls indicated her far-right National Rally had failed to capitalise on the ascendant trajectory which spooked centrist president Emmanuel Macron into calling the snap parliamentary elections.

Pollsters had widely expected National Rally to emerge as the largest party in France’s National Assembly, with most voters focused on the question of whether the far right could succeed in winning the majority needed to deliver the country’s first such government since the Nazi occupation.

Instead, it was the leftist New Popular Front – comprising the Socialists, Greens, Communists and Jean-Luc Melenchon’s far-left France Unbowed (LFI) – which was projected to have won the most seats in France’s National Assembly as polls closed at 8pm local time.

Here is the full report:

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Far right thwarted by shock win for left in French elections, according to exit polls

German Social Democrat MP: ‘The worst has been avoided’

Sunday 7 July 2024 22:06 , Andy Gregory

Reacting to the French exit polls, Nils Schmid, a member of the German parliament and foreign policy spokesperson for the Social Democratic Party said: “The worst has been avoided.”

But he added: “The president is politically weakened, even if he retains a central role in view of the unclear majority situation. Forming a government will be complicated.”

‘Enough to be happy in Warsaw’: Polish premier Tusk gives verdict on exit polls

Sunday 7 July 2024 21:54 , Andy Gregory

Poland’s premier Donald Tusk has given his verdict on the exit polls in France.

He said: “In Paris enthusiasm, in Moscow disappointment, in Kyiv relief. Enough to be happy in Warsaw.”

Watch: Celebrations in Paris as exit poll predicts far-right defeat

Sunday 7 July 2024 21:39 , Andy Gregory

France’s Hollande says leftist coalition ‘must realise what it has to do’

Sunday 7 July 2024 21:25 , Andy Gregory

Former Socialist president Francois Hollande said: “The New Popular Front must realise what it has to do today.

“It is the strongest party in the National Assembly. It does not have an absolute majority. As I speak, it has a relative majority.”

Watch: French PM Attal says he will hand in his resignation on Monday

Sunday 7 July 2024 21:23 , Andre Langlois

Outgoing PM claims centrists have defied expectations

Sunday 7 July 2024 21:11 , Andy Gregory

Outgoing prime minister Gabriel Attal has suggested that centrists may have defied expectations in France’s parliamentary elections.

He said: “Tonight, the extremes have no absolute majority, thanks to our determination and the strength of our values. We [centrists] have three times more MPs than were predicted at the start of this campaign.

“Being prime minister was the honour of my life. This evening the political group that I represent no longer has a majority and tomorrow morning I will submit my resignation to the president.”

Macron must invite leftist coalition to govern, Melenchon claims

Sunday 7 July 2024 20:55 , Andy Gregory

Jean-Luc Melenchon has insisted that Emmanuel Macron must invite his leftist New Popular Front coalition to govern, after exit polls suggested it had won the most seats in France’s snap elections.

Speaking after the shock exit polls, the France Unbowed (LFI) leader said: “The will of the people must be strictly respected. No arrangement would be acceptable. The defeat of the president and his coalition is clearly confirmed. The president must accept his defeat.

“The prime minister must go. The president must invite the New Popular Front to govern.”

‘Our victory has been merely delayed,’ claims Le Pen

Sunday 7 July 2024 20:41 , Andy Gregory

Emmanuel Macron is in an “untenable” situation, Marine Le Pen has warned, insisting her far-right National Rally had lost only as a result of tactical voting between the leftist New Popular Front alliance and Mr Macron’s Ensemble group.

“Our victory has been merely delayed,” she told TF1 TV.

 (EPA) (EPA)

(EPA)

PM Attal to tender his resignation to Macron

Sunday 7 July 2024 20:33 , Andy Gregory

Prime minister Gabriel Attal has that he will tender his resignation to Mr Macron, but said he was willing to carry out his functions as long as required.

It came as the Elysee Palace said the president himself would wait for the full picture to emerge in parliament before taking the necessary next decisions, but “will respect the choice of French people”.

Mr Attal became France’s youngest prime minister in history when he was appointed in January by Mr Macron at the age of 34, having previously served as minister for education.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron with Mr Attal (AFP via Getty Images)France’s President Emmanuel Macron with Mr Attal (AFP via Getty Images)

France’s President Emmanuel Macron with Mr Attal (AFP via Getty Images)

Macron has suffered ‘resounding defeat’, warns Paris mayor

Sunday 7 July 2024 20:16 , Andy Gregory

Paris’s Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo has warned that Emmanuel Macron has suffered another “resounding defeat” despite France voting to see off the far right, according to exit poll predictions.

In a statement reported by Le Parisien, Ms Hidalgo said: “This evening, France escaped the worst thanks to the mobilisation of voters who chose the Republic, by preventing the RN from having a majority in the National Assembly. This is good news for our country, the far right is not in the majority.”

“However, no absolute majority has emerged from the results of the legislative elections,” Ms Hidalgo added.

“The situation of instability that we are going through has only one person responsible: Emmanuel Macron who, on the evening of June 9, deliberately made the choice to plunge the country into a major political crisis.

“This evening, he is once again suffering, after the European elections, a resounding defeat. He will have to draw all the consequences from this.”

Jordan Bardella speaks

Sunday 7 July 2024 19:48 , Andre Langlois

The far-right National Rally’s leader, Jordan Bardella, said on Sunday that France had been “thrown into the hands of the far left” after his party failed to win the French parliamentary elections, according to exit polls.

“After deliberately paralysing our institutions, Emmanuel Macron has not pushed the country towards uncertainty and instability. As a result, he has deprived the French people of any response to their day-to-day difficulties for many months to come,” said Bardella.

He pledged his party will “amplify” its work in the opposition.

Jordan Bardella (AFP/Getty)Jordan Bardella (AFP/Getty)

Jordan Bardella (AFP/Getty)

Watch: Jubilation among supporters as exit polls suggest ‘big victory’ for leftist New Popular Front

Sunday 7 July 2024 19:36 , Andy Gregory

Blow for Le Pen

Sunday 7 July 2024 19:35 , Andre Langlois

The projected results would be a major disappointment for Marine Le Pen’s nationalist, eurosceptic National Rally (RN).

The party, which had for weeks been projected to win the election, is on course for 115 to 155 seats.

The first official results are expected later on Sunday, with the results from most, if not all, constituencies likely to be in by the end of the day or the early hours of Monday.

Voters have punished Macron and his ruling alliance for a cost of living crisis and for failing public services, as well as over immigration and security.

Le Pen and her party tapped into those grievances, spreading their appeal way beyond their traditional strongholds along the Mediterranean coast and in the country’s northern rust belt.

But the leftwing alliance looks like it has edged them out of the first spot, in part thanks to limited cooperation by Macron’s centrist Together alliance and the left.

Le Pen’s rivals pulled more than 200 candidates out of three-way races in the second round in a bid to create a unified anti-RN vote.

The constitution mandates that there can be no new parliamentary election for another year.

Hung parliament

Sunday 7 July 2024 19:29 , Andre Langlois

If the projected hung parliament is confirmed, it will leave parliament divided into three big groups with different platforms and no tradition of working together.

The leftist alliance, which gathers the hard left, the Socialists and Greens, who have long been at odds with each other, was forecast to win between 172 and 215 seats out of 577 in the exit polls.

Cries of joy and tears of relief broke out at the leftist alliance’s gathering in Paris. At the Greens’ headquarters activists screamed in joy, embracing each other.

By contrast there was stunned silence, clenched jaws and tears at the far-right party headquarters, as young National Rally members checked their phones.

The result will in any case be humiliating for Macron, whose centrist alliance, which he founded to underpin his first presidential run in 2017, was projected to be narrowly second and win 150-180 seats.

Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte voting on Sunday in the second round of French parliamentary elections (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte voting on Sunday in the second round of French parliamentary elections (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte voting on Sunday in the second round of French parliamentary elections (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Melenchon hails ‘immense relief’ for France after shock exit polls

Sunday 7 July 2024 19:19 , Andy Gregory

French Leftist leader Jean-Luc Melenchon has hailed the exit poll results as providing “immense relief for a majority of people in our country” as the far-right were forecast to have failed to achieve the first-place result expected in polls.

But the far-left leader demanded the resignation of prime minister Gabriel Attal after Ipsos polling put his New Popular Front coalition in first place.

Mr Melenchon is the most prominent of the leftist leaders who unexpectedly came together ahead of the two-round elections, and who struck up a last-minute “republican front” with the Macron-backing Ensemble party to pull candidates out of the final ballot in order to present a single opponent against the far-right.

Blow for both Macron and Le Pen as exit poll puts leftist coalition in pole position

Sunday 7 July 2024 19:14 , Andy Gregory

France is on course for a hung parliament, according to exit polls which put the leftist New Popular Front coalition in first place – followed by the Macron-backing Ensemble and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally.

The outcome, if confirmed, will leave parliament divided in three big groups with hugely different platforms and no tradition at all of working together.

That could potentially herald a period of instability, unless the left manages to strike a deal with other parties to work together.

The leftist alliance was forecast to win between 172 and 215 seats out of 577, pollsters’ projections based on early results from a sample of polling stations showed. These projections are usually reliable.

The result would in any case be humiliating for French President Emmanuel Macron, whose centrist alliance, which he founded to underpin his first presidential run in 2017, was projected to be narrowly second and win 150-180 seats.

But it will also be a major disappointment for Marine Le Pen’s nationalist, eurosceptic National Rally(RN).

Breaking: France’s far-right defeated in election, shock exit poll suggests

Sunday 7 July 2024 19:10 , Andy Gregory

France’s far-right National Rally have failed to become the largest party in parliamentary elections, according to shock exit poll results forecasting the left-wing New Popular Front coalition is in pole position.

In results which would deliver a bitter blow to Marine Le Pen, an exit poll by Ipsos suggested the NFP coalition will obtain between 172 and 192 seats.

The Macron-backing Ensemble group would take second place with between 150 and 170 seats, while National Rally would secure 132 to 152 seats.

Just 30 minutes left of voting in French parliamentary elections

Sunday 7 July 2024 18:31 , Andy Gregory

There is just half an hour left before voting closes across France, with the exit polls set to be published shortly afterwards.

 (REUTERS) (REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

National Rally defeated in Guadeloupe

Sunday 7 July 2024 18:02 , Andy Gregory

The National Rally has failed to secure a seat in any of the four constituencies in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe.

Left-wing incumbents were decisively re-elected in each of the constituences, despite National Rally candidates having managed to progress to the second round of voting in two seats.

Voting closes in towns and small cities

Sunday 7 July 2024 17:44 , Andy Gregory

Voting closed at 6pm local time (5pm BST) in towns and small cities in France.

The polls will shut at 8pm local time in bigger cities, at which point pollsters will deliver initial projections based on early counts from a sample of voting stations.

How does voting in France’s parliamentary elections work?

Sunday 7 July 2024 17:32 , Andy Gregory

Voting in French parliamentary elections takes place over two rounds, the second of which is taking place today.

In last Sunday’s initial vote, any candidate who recieved more than 50 per cent of the vote in each of the 571 seats up for grabs was automatically declared the victor – a result secured by more than 60 candidates.

In the remaining 501 seats, any candidate who received more than 12.5 per cent ofthe vote progressed onto the second ballot – paving the way for a generally more tactical approach to voting than in the first round.

Close to 220 candidates on the centre and left have pulled out of the race in a bid to present a clear choice to voters between the far right and a single alternative candidate, in a move successfully deployed historically in the past but unsurprisingly denounced by far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

The party which manages to secure a majority of MPs then forms a government to serve under the president.

What happened in the first-round of voting last week?

Sunday 7 July 2024 17:16 , Andy Gregory

Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally took a strong lead in France’s first round of parliamentary elections last Sunday, following an unusually high turnout among voters.

Official results showed that the nationalist leader’s party won 33 per cent of the vote, while current president Emmanuel Macron’s Together coalition slumped to third place on 20 per cent. The left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) scored around 28 per cent.

Nearly 60 per cent of the population turned out to vote, the highest in nearly four decades.

The results saw Mr Macron and the NFP reluctantly band together to form a so-called “republican front”, which saw more than 200 candidates drop out of three-way races in a tactic historically relied upon to see off the far-right.

My colleagues Holly Evans and Tom Watling have more in this report:

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Le Pen’s far-right National Rally take lead in first round of French election voting

Jewish leaders urge against votes for far right or far left

Sunday 7 July 2024 16:59 , Andy Gregory

French Jewish leaders, including the chief rabbi, have urged against voting for either the far right or far left in today’s elections.

In a statement issued on Friday, they warned that citizens would write France’s destiny on Sunday, saying: “Faithful to the history of our institutions and to the spirit of Judaism, we do not accept associating ourselves with those who tend to exclude or stigmatise our neighbor, or with those who inflame our society by spreading hatred and antisemitism, under the cover of anti-Zionism.

“No, populism or nationalism have never been a bulwark against antisemitism in history, nor have they brought peace and serenity. No, antisemitism is neither “residual” nor “contextual” as some have dared to claim.

“To restore the country’s ability to take public action and to regain the hope of saving prospects, we are choosing the universal and humanist values ​​that are at the heart of Judaism, as well as our republican pact.”

“In conscience, we believe that this cannot be done today either with” Marine Len Pen’s National Rally or Jean-Luc Melenchon’s LFI, they wrote.

Paris voters express concern over ‘very worrying’ potential election outcomes

Sunday 7 July 2024 16:44 , Andy Gregory

Voters in Paris appeared acutely aware of the the far-reaching consequences for France and beyond in this election.

“The individual freedoms, tolerance and respect for others is what at stake today,” Thomas Bertrand, a 45-year-old voter who works in advertising, told the Associated Press.

Sitting in a deck chair along the Saint-Martin Canal in eastern Paris, Fernando Veloso said voters were perplexed by the prospect of divided government.

“It’s going to bring confusion,” the 67-year-old retiree told the news agency. “Will they be able to govern properly in a cohabitation government, with Macron still in power? It’s tricky.”

“Tensions are running high,” he added. “It’s worrying. Very worrying.”

Watch: French PM casts vote in pivotal runoff election that could propel far-right to power

Sunday 7 July 2024 16:31 , Andy Gregory

Voter turnout highest since 1981 as of 5pm

Sunday 7 July 2024 16:17 , Andy Gregory

As of 5pm local time, turnout was at 59.7 per cent, according to France’s Interior Ministry, the highest at that time on the voting day since 1981.

During the first round, the nearly 67 per cent turnout was the highest since 1997, ending nearly three decades of deepening voter apathy for legislative elections and, for a growing number of French people, politics in general.

Results come in from French Overseas territories

Sunday 7 July 2024 16:00 , Jabed Ahmed

In the restive French Pacific territory of New Caledonia, a pro-independence Indigenous Kanak candidate has won a seat over a loyalist candidate in the second round of voting.

Emmanuel Tjibaou is a political novice and a son of a well-known Kanak independence leader, Jean-Marie Tjibaou, who was assassinated in 1989. He is the first pro-independence candidate to win a seat in the National Assembly since 1986.

Right-wing candidate and French loyalist Nicolas Metzdorf has won New Caledonia’s second parliament seat.

Economists and financial markets rattled by RN

Sunday 7 July 2024 15:45 , Jabed Ahmed

Financial markets were rattled by Mr Macron’s election gamble last month.

The CAC 40 stock market in Paris sank 6 per cent within days and French government bonds were sold off, as investors fled to safer alternatives.

The RN has watered down some of its frontline economic policy pledges to shore up household spending and lower the retirement age, constrained by France‘s ballooning budget deficit.

They also pledge to reduce immigration, loosen legislation to expel illegal migrants and tighten rules around family reunification.

French asset prices have risen on expectations the RN won’t win a majority, with banking shares up and the risk premium investors demand to hold French debt narrowing.

However, France‘s business elite is anxious about the risk of volatile politics and instability ahead, and economists question whether the RN’s hefty spending plans are fully funded.

When will the results be announced?

Sunday 7 July 2024 15:25 , Jabed Ahmed

Voting ends at 8pm local time (7pm BST), when pollsters publish nationwide projections based on a partial vote count.

These are usually reliable, with official results coming in from 8pm.

Vote counting is usually quite fast and the winners of all, or nearly all, seats will be known by the end of the evening.

Election marred by violence

Sunday 7 July 2024 14:42 , Jabed Ahmed

France’s election campaign has seen more than 50 violent attacks on candidates and activists, a senior government minister has warned.

Some 30,000 officers have been deployed to police the tense ballot today, including 5,000 in Paris, said interior minister Gerald Darminin.

Some luxury boutiques along the Champs Elysees boulevard, including the Louis Vuitton store, have barricaded windows.





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