The electoral campaign begins in France to hold early elections

The electoral campaign begins in France to hold early elections

Campaigning for France's early parliamentary elections began on Monday, with opinion polls pointing to victory for the far-right National Rally party, with President Emmanuel Macron's centrist coalition in third place, behind a left-wing ticket.

The political uncertainty sparked a sharp sell-off in French bonds and stocks after Macron unexpectedly called elections following his centrist party's defeat by Marine Le Pen's National Rally in the European Parliament elections.

Macron's gamble, which involved surprising other parties with only a few weeks to prepare for the vote, could backfire, according to Ifop research for the Journal du Dimanche.

The poll indicates that the anti-European Union, anti-immigration National Front party will receive 35% of the votes in the first round scheduled for June 30, compared to 26% for a fragile coalition of left-wing parties and only 19% for Macron. The second round is scheduled to take place on July 7.

Voter Maxime Chetrit (60 years old) said, “We are entering uncharted territory, and in my opinion, we will be moving towards an ungovernable assembly.”

Marie Balta, a retiree from Nimes in southern France, expressed this concern but said elections could give parliament greater power over what the president and government do.

“It will be very difficult to have a tripartite assembly with two strong blocs and a much smaller centre, but perhaps it will be an opportunity to return to more democracy,” she said.

The official campaign began on Monday, after a week in which parties struggled to present their candidates and form alliances.

Macron's allies repeated their warnings that a victory for the National Front, or left, party could lead to a financial crisis. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal told RTL radio that a victory for either of them would be disastrous for France, its economy and its jobs.

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Even the captain of the French national football team, Kylian Mbappé, intervened, encouraging young people to “make a difference” at a time when “extremism” was knocking on the door of power.

Some far-right politicians said the French player was out of touch with reality.

Macron met with senior ministers and aides on Sunday evening to discuss the elections, according to a source who attended the meeting, adding that they decided not to field a candidate in about 60 electoral districts – out of a total of 577 – where they considered another candidate. than the mainstream was in a better position to win.

But some members of Macron's group have publicly expressed doubts about the election.

“This (dissolving parliament) is the president’s decision, it is his prerogative,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France Inter radio on Sunday.

“What I notice is that this has created in our country, among the French people, everywhere, fears, misunderstanding, and sometimes anger. And this is what I see among our voters.”

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