Macron to Dissolve French Parliament and Call New Election after EU Elections Defeat

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday his decision to dissolve the French parliament and initiate a new legislative nationwide vote following a significant defeat in the EU elections.

The unexpected move came in response to exit poll results showing Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (Rassemblement National, or RN) leading in the polls with 31.5%, compared to Macron’s Renaissance party at 14.5%.

According to CNBC, Macron, in an address on television, acknowledged the need for action, stating, “I will not be able to act as if nothing had happened.” The first round of the parliamentary election is scheduled for June 30, with the second round set for July 7.

The decision to call for a legislative election poses a potential risk for Macron, as a victory by Le Pen’s RN could leave him with diminished control over domestic affairs. Despite Macron’s presidency running until 2027, he is ineligible for a third term.

Economist Holger Schmieding from Berenberg Bank noted the uncertainty brought about by the new elections, which could impact the markets due to France’s fiscal challenges. The prospect of a far-right victory has raised concerns, with RN’s campaign platform including pledges to address issues such as national security, immigration, energy policies, and retirement age reductions.

Jordan Bardella, RN’s leader in Europe, has sought to attract France’s youth and broaden the party’s appeal. Recent polls have indicated growing support for Bardella among the public, with promises to address societal concerns resonating with voters.