Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) party has beaten an alliance from French President Emmanuel Macron in the European elections in France, according to final results from the country’s Interior Ministry.
Le Pen’s RN, which is a rebranding of the National Front, won 23.31% of the vote versus 22.41% from Macron’s La République En Marche-led alliance known as Renaissance.
In 2014, the then National Front won with 24.86% of the vote.
The Green party Europe Écologie Les Verts gave a strong performance with 13.47% of the vote — a huge increase from their 8.9% showing in 2014, according to the ministry.
French voter turnout was significantly higher than in previous EU elections at 50.12%. Voter turnout was 42.43% in 2014.
Following exit polls, Le Pen called on Macron to dissolve the French National Assembly, or lower house of parliament.
“The trust that the French people have given to us by choosing us as the first Party, but above all as the future alternative power, is an immense honor. And we measure the responsibility that comes with it. Given the democratic disavowal suffered by the established power tonight, it will be up to the President, now, to draw the consequences. He who put his presidential legitimacy in this vote, made it a referendum on his policies, and even on himself. He has no other choice than, at the very least, to dissolve the National Assembly and choose a voting system that is more democratic and finally representative of the real opinion of the country.”
On Monday, French papers led with Le Pen’s victory and the Green’s surprise showing.
French daily Le Figaro focused on the personal battle between the two leaders, “Macron duels with Le Pen,” while Libération noted the rising appeal of a third option, “The greens grow.”