Polls: France’s far-right may win an absolute majority in snap elections

French right-wing populists may win an absolute majority in the snap elections, according to a recent survey.

The Odoxa Institute for “Le Nouvel Obs” poll indicates that the Rassemblement National, with a significant lead in voting intentions (33%), is poised to secure an absolute majority (250 to 300 seats).

Far-right RN can secure 250 to 300 seats – Le Nouvel Obs’ poll

The left party Nouveau Front Populaire (28%) is likely to be the main opposition force (160 to 210 seats), far ahead of the current majority (19% of voting intentions and 70 to 120 seats).

The French have understood what is at stake in the early parliamentary elections on June 30 and July 7, the report says. The Odoxa “Le Nouvel Obs” poll predicts an exceptional turnout, with 64% of the 2,000 respondents indicating their readiness to vote.

This is well above the turnout rates for the 2017 (48.7%) and 2022 (47.5%) parliamentary elections, and the highest in over twenty years (64.4% in 2002).

A record turnout expected

This mobilization for a high-stakes ballot is reminiscent of that seen during the early parliamentary elections of 1997, following the dissolution decided by President Jacques Chirac. Back then, 68% of voters cast their ballots in the first round. On June 30, voter turnout could approach or even exceed this record.

Nonetheless, there are still differences in voter turnout. 77% of senior citizens intend to vote, compared with 54% of young people.

Despite this, it is among the most abstentionist categories that we see the strongest progress: the intention to vote increases among women (+17 points compared to the June 9, 2024 European elections), young people (+21 points), and the most modest households (+21 points).

RN dominates; left-wing NFP is on the rise

If held next Sunday, the first round of the elections would see the far-right RN win with 33% of the vote. This score would represent an increase of almost 15 points on the result of the last legislative elections in 2022 (18.7%).

With 28% of voting intentions, the Nouveau Front populaire is the other likely winner of the legislative elections; if this score were to be confirmed at the ballot box, the NFP would make significant progress compared to its level at the 2022 legislative elections (25.6% of votes under the Nupes label).

The first opinion polls, conducted the day after the dissolution announcement and before the left and ecologists sealed their electoral alliance, credited the left with only 22% to 23% of the vote. With just ten days to go before the first round, the NFP can still hope to make headway.

Right-wing LR and pro-Macron grouping of parties predicted to lose seats

According to the Odoxa – “Le”Nouvel Obs” survey, the big loser in the forthcoming legislative elections is likely to be Ensemble, the grouping of parties formed by the current presidential majority (LREM, Horizon, and MoDem). A score of 19%, as shown in the poll, would represent a 7-point drop compared to the result of Renaissance and its allies in the 2022 parliamentary elections.

Another loser could be the traditional center-right party, Les Républicains. The leader of its radical wing, Eric Ciotti, with his approximately 30 candidates who joined the RN, caused a split, resulting in the historic low of the party’s support at 7% of voting intentions, 3.5 points below its 2022 election results.

The matrix, which projects voting intentions in each of France’s 577 constituencies, credits the RN with 250 to 300 seats (compared with 89 in the outgoing Assembly). It therefore appears capable of achieving an absolute majority (289 seats) on the evening of July 7.

This would make the left-wing NFP the second political force in the National Assembly. 160 to 210 seats (compared with 150 in the outgoing Assembly). The former presidential majority would have only 70 to 120 MPs (compared to 250 in the outgoing Assembly). The LR and various right parties would have just 10 to 50 (compared with 72 in the outgoing Assembly).

However, considering the range of possibilities in the July 7 runoff, one should interpret these results “with caution”.

The French President Emmanuel Macron dissolved parliament on June 9 due to his party’s defeat in the European Parliament elections. He declared the first round of early elections on June 30 and the second round on July 7.

Celebrities’ calls against the far-right

In June, French footballers, Youtubers, and actors voiced against the far-right party, which could come to power after the snap elections. French national team star Kylian Mbappé, Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, and a YouTuber with 19 million followers Squeezie voiced their opposition to the far-right party in June. They called for people to vote against the ‘extremes’.

In response, RN and its leader, Jordan Bardella, tried to tackle it, saying that “they don’t understand the problems of the French.” One of the decisive factors is the abstention rate, especially among young voters, which could play into the hands of the far-right party.

Prominent political scientists, including Nicolas Tenzer, criticized Marine Le Pen’s party for its past ties with Russia and its lack of support for Ukraine in light of the Russian invasion and the West’s assistance.

Will the French follow the calls of celebrities and turn out to support non-extreme, pro-European parties? The elections, which promise to be decisive for France, will unfold.

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