France's far-right RN tops European election vote

Marine Le Pen's party wins 23.3% of the vote in France, narrowly pushing President Emmanuel Macron's LREM into second place

France's far-right Rassemblement National (RN) has come out on top in France’s European Elections, narrowly ahead of President Emmanuel Macron's La Republique En Marche (LREM).

Marine Le Pen’s party finished with 23.3% of the vote at the end of a campaign that was heavily packaged as a protest vote against the president. The centrist LREM came second with 22.4%, and there was a surge for Europe Écologie Les Verts, with 13.4%. Of the more traditional parties, centre-right Les Républicains won 8.4% and Parti Socialiste 6.6%.

With results still coming in, you can see how your commune voted in the European elections by clicking here.

Analysts pointed out the French far-right had not improved on results in the 2014 European election, where it had also claimed the most French MEPs and polled higher, with 24.85% of the vote. Five years' ago, then-President Francois Hollande saw his party pick up just 14%.

Jordan Bardella, 23, who was the head of the RN's list of candidates now becomes the youngest-ever MEP. He called the results a “lesson in humility’ for Mr Macron, and “a rejection of him and his policies”, while Ms Le Pen called for the National Assembly to be dissolved.

The Eurosceptic RN's election manifesto had made no mention of a possible referendum on France's future in Europe - a so-called Frexit. Instead, it called for reform from within.

Across Europe, traditional centrist parties took a beating, as voters favoured alternative candidates from the greens and far-right. Estimated results based on exit polls leave the centre-right European People’s Party as the largest in the parliament, but down from 221 seats to 179.

In the UK, the Brexit Party was the clear winner, topping the polls in every region of England apart from London. It also dominated in Wales, with Plaid Cymru second. In England, the pro-EU Lib Dems second. Conservatives and Labour suffered heavy losses, with the former expected to get less than 10% of the vote.

Scotland is yet to formally declare, but with most votes counted, the SNP is on course for a resounding victory, with about 38% of the vote.

The Socialists and Democrats group seem certain to win 150 seats, down from 191 five years ago, leaving the two main groups looking likely to need help from Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) with about 107 seats, and the Greens to form a stable majority.

Environmental parties will have greater influence, with about 70 seats in the next European Parliament, compared to 50 currently. German voters, in particular, threw their weight behind green candidates.

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe called the results “disappointing” but said they would not affect the government’s reform drive.

Turnout across the EU27 member states was about 50.95% – the highest since 1994. In France, the turnout was 52%.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

More articles from French news
More articles from Connexion France
Other articles that may interest you

Comment

Loading some business profiles...

Loading some classifieds...