Snap French election: What will far-right want if it gains more power?

No tax for the young, 'self-defence' for police officers and commitments to the EU are included among heavy rhetoric on immigration

The party is hoping to expand on the 88 seats they currently hold in the National Assembly
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If the trends are correct, the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party is poised to win big in the upcoming legislative elections. 

The snap MPs’ election, called by president Emmanuel Macron after disappointing European Election results for his party last weekend, have caused a flurry of activity and furore across the political landscape. 

Indeed, the RN comprehensively won on the European stage, garnering 31.4% of the vote, more than double that of Macron's coalition, which received the second-highest share (14.9%).

Read more: Far-right win French EU elections: how did your area of France vote?

Many see the calling of the legislative elections – which will elect MPs to the National Assembly, France’s lower political chamber – as a calculated risk, and hope France will unite behind non-RN candidates in an effort to block them out of power (the so-called Republican Front). 

However, there is a chance that this anti far-right alliance will not come to fruition, and the RN will return to the National Assembly with significantly more than their current 88 seats (out of 577) … perhaps even becoming the largest party in the chamber. 

If this is the case, Jordan Bardella, 28, president of the party, will likely become the youngest – and first far-right – prime minister of France. 

Read more: Jordan Bardella: his unflattering nickname and 1.5m Tik Tok fans

Whilst the full extent of the RN’s plans if it does win in the election is not yet known, there are ideas of areas it wishes to focus on, and how it will set France up on both the domestic and international stages. 

Heavy curb on immigration 

Of course, immigration control is a cornerstone policy for the RN. 

The party’s aims are to strictly cut down on immigration from non-EU countries, which would include processing all asylum requests outside of France. 

They would also end immigration requests for regroupement familial (family reunification) visas and l’immigration de peuplement (settled immigration) status.

Marine le Pen also said in 2022 she would like to amend the constitution – specifically article 11 – to give France’s domestic law precedence over international law with regard to immigration. 

Currently, international law, including the EU’s constitution and Human Rights Charter, takes precedence over France’s domestic legislation.

However, a referendum on this could only be launched by the president, and not the prime minister. 

Unless Mr Macon steps down after the election – which he said he will not do even if his party loses out – the RN would likely need to wait until at least 2027 (provided it wins the presidential elections) for further discussions on this. 

Read more: Macron: why I chose snap French election and I won’t resign if we lose

‘Priority’ access to services for the French

In addition, in the 2022 presidential election Marine Le Pen campaigned for a policy of ‘national preference’ in France. 

In short, this would see social housing, employment opportunities, and benefits programmes be awarded first and foremost to French nationals, with foreigners being put at a lower rung. 

Immigrants to France would have to work for five years before receiving access to certain benefits. 

The RN’s manifesto for the European Elections stated they wished to “authorise national priority in public procurement to protect our jobs and the environment, as well as a preference… on ‘Buying French or European’” products and services.

Read more: Le Pen lost in 2022 but could France really begin a 'nationals first' policy?

No more ‘Frexit’

Previously stating its intent for France to leave the EU, the party now no longer campaigns for ‘Frexit’, but for reforming the bloc from within. 

It has also renounced claims that it would revert France’s currency to the Franc, the national money before the Euro was introduced.

Marine Le Pen also said she was in favour of free movement between countries within the Schengen bloc, but only for nationals of these countries, and not residents or visitors.

Taxes on superprofits and tax breaks for the young 

Financially, the RN has committed to a tax on ‘superprofits’ from large companies in France. 

The amount profits will be taxed by, nor the estimated revenue it will bring in, has been fully published. 

Another fiscal policy the RN announced is an end to income tax for French people under the age of 30, regardless of income level. 

This, however, would likely be challenged by the Constitutional council (Conseil constitutionnel) for being unconstitutional.

The council made headlines last year after approving the majority of the pension reform plans pushed through parliament by the president and his party, including raising the retirement age to 64.

More protection for police officers and tougher on crime 

A general ‘crackdown’ on crime is high amongst the RN’s list, as well as an end to reduced prison sentences. 

Police officers would also benefit from more legal protections, including a new “presumption of self-defence” if they feel threatened by a member of the public.

In addition, deportation of non-French citizens guilty of committing crimes is touted by the party. 

Privatisation of national broadcasters 

Deputy leader of the party and MP in the Nord department Sébastien Chenu said the RN is in favour of privatising publicly owned broadcasting stations, including France Télévisions and Radio France, when asked earlier this month. 

This policy was also in their 2022 manifesto. 

Staff at the publicly-owned broadcasters recently went on strike over current plans to merge the services under one nationalised banner – it is unlikely they would be happy over full privatisation.

Read more: Why TV and radio stations were on strike in France

A special ‘French’ price for electricity 

The introduction of regulations that would keep the cost of purchasing electricity for French households “close to production costs” would see energy bills decrease by between 30% to 40%, the RN claims. 

In addition, it would allow excess production to be sold on the European market.

The RN is no longer in favour of leaving the European Electricity Market, as it was in 2022, however.

Restrictions on Islamic clothing 

A long-standing RN policy, although it was not explicitly in the 2022 manifesto, is further restrictions on ‘Islamic’ clothing.

Various RN politicians including Marine Le Pen have stated their intention to ban ‘Islamic veils’ in public places. 

Again, however, this would likely come under scrutiny, and would be seen as going against the freedom of expression by the Constitutional council.