Macron Calls Snap Election After Far-Right Gains in EU Vote

Macron Calls Snap Election After Far-Right Gains in EU Vote

France's President Emmanuel Macron has called for a snap parliamentary election following a defeat by the far right in the European elections. This announcement came after Macron's centrist Renaissance party was outvoted by Marine Le Pen, Jordan Bardella, and their National Rally party, which secured over 30% of the vote, double that of Macron's party.

Across Europe, the centre-right parties solidified their majority in the European Parliament, winning in countries like Germany, Greece, Poland, and Spain, and making gains in Hungary against Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, emphasized the importance of the centre-right's stability and responsibility, though noting the growth of both left and right extremes.

In Germany, the conservative CDU won 30% of the vote, while Chancellor Olaf Scholz's SPD had its worst European election result, coming in third behind the far-right AfD. AfD, despite various scandals, maintained significant support.

Radical parties also saw success, with Germany's new far-left party BSW, led by Sahra Wagenknecht, performing well. In Hungary, Peter Magyar's centre-right Tisza party, formed just two months prior, emerged as a strong opposition to Viktor Orban.

Spain's centre-right Popular Party (PP) narrowly defeated Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialists. Italy's Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy party continued to dominate, securing 29% of the vote.

In Austria, the far-right Freedom Party FPÖ was set for a narrow victory. Belgium's New-Flemish Alliance topped the vote, ending liberal Prime Minister Alexander De Croo's rule.

Despite expectations, the far right underperformed in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, and Poland but excelled in France. Prof. Alberto Alemanno of HEC Paris expressed surprise at Macron's decision to dissolve parliament, calling it disproportionate to the election results.

Left-of-centre victories occurred in the Netherlands, Portugal, and Denmark, where the opposition Green-Left party outperformed the ruling Social Democrats. Slovakia's Progressive Slovakia party defeated the ruling Smer party, which campaigned against EU policies on Ukraine and climate change.

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