News Digest: Far-Right Surge & France’s Snap Election – What Happens Next?



News Digest: Far-Right Surge & France’s Snap Election – What Happens Next?

After a devastating loss to the far-right in the weekend’s European elections, Macron has announced a snap election. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Macron calls a snap election for French parliament

France made headlines around the world this weekend as the European Parliament elections took place this Sunday, resulting in a notable swing to the right. While the pro-European centrist coalition retained its overall majority, far-right parties in France, Austria, and Germany all saw substantial gains, seen by many as a stance against their respective governments.

In France, the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party, led by Jordan Bardella and supported by Marine Le Pen, soared to a resounding majority with 31.5% of the vote, while Macron’s Rennaissance party took just 14.5%. The shocking results were not concentrated in one region of France, either. The Rassemblement National took the lead in all but four of France’s 96 departements – Paris, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, and Hauts-de-Seine, being the only exceptions. You can see the full breakdown of the results here.

Perhaps even more surprising was President Macron’s address to the nation on Sunday evening (June 9th) following the preliminary results, in which he announced that he was dissolving the Assemblée Nationale and holding a snap election. It’s a bold and potentially risky move by Macron, who is likely hoping to capitalise on fears of a far-right takeover to reestablish a parliamentary majority for his own party.

Macron took a strong stance against the progression of far-right parties in Europe, admitting that: “It is a situation to which I cannot resign myself”. He stated that he has decided to give the country the choice by dissolving the Assemblée Nationale and allowing them to choose if they really want to far-right in control , adding: “This decision is serious and heavy, but it is an act of confidence. Confidence in you, dear compatriots, and in the capacity of the French people to make the best choice for itself and future generations.”

The dissolution order came into effect that same night, with all parliamentary debates now suspended until after the elections. The election dates have also been announced, with the first round taking place on Sunday, June 30th, and the second on Sunday, July 7th. The official campaign period will start in a month’s time, and party candidates have until this Friday, June 14th, to confirm their candidacy.

2. Unions cancel strikes

If you’re travelling from Paris’ Orly airport over the next few days, there’s good news – the previously announced strike of air traffic controllers has been called off by unions. The strikes were supposed to take place between June 11th and 13th, and would have affected up to 70% of both domestic and international flights. Further strikes had also been pencilled in for July 4th-5th. However, unions cancelled the strikes yesterday, stating that they did not want to mix internal issues at the DGAC (Direction générale de l’Aviation civile) with national politics.

3. How much does buying a house in France really cost?

If you have plans to buy, build, or renovate a French property, make sure to sign up for our next FrenchEntrée webinar, where we’ll be breaking down the real cost of buying a French property. I’ll be joined by a panel of experts to look at the costs of buying property, tax, currency exchange, and property management.

Sign up for our free webinar now:

How Much Does it Really Cost to Buy a Property in France?

Thursday 27th June, 17:00 London / 18:00 France / 12:00 New York

P.S. Happy Father’s Day!

If you live in France, don’t forget that this Sunday, June 16th, is the Fête des Peres or Father’s Day.

Happy Father’s Day!

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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  •  Martin rushton
    2024-06-11 10:16:05
    Martin rushton
    Oh how so many ludicrously use the term 'far right'.


  •  Mary Scott
    2024-06-11 07:08:15
    Mary Scott
    There is nothing more frightening to me than a far-right takeover of either the United States or France. Donald Trump is the poster-boy for the far-right, and if elected, we know exactly what we can expect, because he tells us every single day. Women will have no rights to making decisions about their own bodies, nor will we have birth control available to us. He will take us back to the dark ages & a theocratic & nationalistic fascism, that celebrates Nazis as 'good people'!!! My love of my French heritage kept me sane, because I THOUGHT, worse case scenario, we could immigrate to France. Now, where would we go, if France is so close to being the party of Donald Trump? This is devastating news. I pray to the gods that Macron wins, otherwise we are all doomed.