Emmanuel Macron gambles on snap France election after European defeat


Hugh Schofield, a journalist from BBC News in Paris, wrote a blog recently.

Following the success of Marine Le Pen's National Rally in the European Parliament election, President Emmanuel Macron has decided to hold unexpected parliamentary elections later this month.

According to exit polls, the far-right party is likely to secure 32% of the vote, which is more than two times the number expected for the president's Renaissance party.

He declared the disbandment of parliament and informed that there would be two separate voting sessions held on 30th June and 7th July, which are within a few weeks of the Paris Olympics.

In a stunning move, Mr. Macron announced his decision through a televised speech from the Élysée Palace, just an hour after the EU election polls had closed. This decision came as a shock to many.

Not much time passed after the 28-year-old leader of the National Rally, Jordan Bardella, publicly urged the president to hold parliamentary elections when the president made his decision.

The president of France stated that he has received the message from the voters and he will not ignore it. He promised to give a response.

According to him, it is crucial for France to have a strong and peaceful majority and he is opposed to the rise of far-right groups across Europe.

Just after his re-election for a second term as president for only about two years, Mr Macron now has no majority in the French parliament. Although this European voting process usually doesn't influence national politics, he realized that carrying on with his term without holding a fresh public consultation would be too much pressure on the entire system.

The forthcoming parliamentary elections won't influence President Macron's current position since they're different than the presidential elections and he has three more years left in his term as president.

Ms Le Pen, who has lost to Mr Macron two times before in presidential elections, responded quickly. She declared that her party is prepared to wield power and stop mass immigration.

The decision to hold an impromptu election came as a shock to the nation and poses a substantial gamble for President Macron.

There were alternative reactions he could have chosen. Instead of dwelling on the far right's surprising win in Europe, he could have brushed it off as a temporary deviation that would be remedied in future elections.

He might have relied on the upcoming European football tournament in Germany and, most importantly, the Paris Olympics to distract individuals from political matters for a few months.

That was definitely the expectation of Paris commentators regarding how he would handle his party's defeat.

However, it can be presumed that the president predicted this situation and prepared his reaction beforehand.

Undoubtedly, the outcome mirrored the surveys almost perfectly, thus allowing him enough time to ponder over his choices.

It's true that he's trapped.

Passing any bill through the National Assembly is no easy feat without a clear majority. Moreover, upcoming legislation, including the budget, could have been highly controversial, considering the widespread opposition to the government.

He has chosen the word "clarity". According to him, if the National Rally party has obtained the necessary number of votes, they should be granted the opportunity to rule.

It is clear that the president desires his Renaissance party to make a comeback during the upcoming elections on June 30 and July 7. Alternatively, he may also be hoping for better results from other parties.

However, it is important to acknowledge that the chances of National Rally winning another victory are high. The margin may not be as wide as it was on Sunday, but it could be significant enough for them to secure the most seats in parliament.

There may come a time where Marine Le Pen or Jordan Bardella become the Prime Minister.

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