France elections LIVE: Macron in meltdown as protests erupt | World | News

The former president of the far-right National Rally party and political nemesis of Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen, delivered a brutal assessment of the first round of French elections.

France’s Interior Minister released, hours after the closure of the polling stations on June 30, its percentages for the first round of voting, saying the National Rally and its allies reached 33 percent of the national popular vote. The far-right coalition was followed by the left-wing coalition New Popular Front, with 28 percent, while the coalition bloc of the French President trailed behind having gathered 20 percent of the vote.

All groups are now focused on the second round of voting, which will take place on July 7. Ms Le Pen asked her supporters to hand the National Rally an “absolute majority” while Mr Macron called for a “broad alliance” to keep the hard right from the echelons of power.

Celebrating the first results, achieved following the biggest turnout for a parliamentary vote in nearly four decades in France, Ms Le Pen said Mr Macron had been “practically wiped out” by the far-right coalition. She added: “We need an absolute majority so that [RN leader] Jordan Bardella can be appointed prime minister in a week’s time.”

The results, which could see a hard-right leadership rising to power in France for the first time since the Vichy regime in the 1940s, prompted left-wing voters to come together in Paris on Sunday evening to voice their frustration. Thousands of people were seen voicing their disappointment at the surge of the far-right as they gathered in Place de la République.

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