France holds its breath ahead of the uncertain vote

On the eve of the final vote, Saturday’s heated election campaign in France was put on hold, but even before polls opened, people’s minds were shifting to an uncertain future.

The customary last-day break before Sunday’s second-round runoff won’t allay concerns in France—a global force and EU mainstay—about impasse and paralysis.

According to the final opinion polls released on Friday, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) is not expected to secure an absolute majority in the National Assembly.

However, President Emmanuel Macron’s risk in holding early elections in an attempt to make voters choose between the extremes on the left and right and his moderate course has not paid off.

With no obvious majority to rule with, he must now spend the next three years of his presidency holding together a caretaker administration, possibly under the direction of Prime Minister Gabriel Attal.

Ipsos and Ifop pollsters predict that the anti-immigrant, euroskeptic RN will win between 170 and 210 seats in the National Assembly, considerably short of the necessary 289 MPs for an absolute majority.

With between 145 and 175 seats, the RN is polling slightly ahead of the left-wing alliance, the New Popular Front, according to an Ipsos Talan survey conducted for Le Monde, Radio France, and France Televisions.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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