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Macron Calls Snap Legislative Election

State of the Union: The move comes as a shock after Macron badly lost the EU elections.
President Macron Of France Hosts Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament
Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images

After decisively losing the June 9 European Parliament elections, France’s President Emmanuel Macron has dissolved the French National Assembly, calling snap parliamentary elections for June 30 and July 7, per France’s two-round system. 

In the European elections, the list headed by the Rassemblement National (RN) party of Marine LePen and Jordan Bardella won a stunning victory with 31.4 percent of the vote and 30 seats, while Macron’s list earned only 14.6 percent of the vote and 13 seats. The list headed by the national conservative Reconquête party of Eric Zemmour and Marion Maréchal (the latter of whom is a niece of LePen) also won 5.5 percent of the vote and five seats.

The rationale for Macron’s move is unclear. Some have argued that, in view of poor economic projections, he wants LePen’s RN to win a majority and take the premiership as a “poison chalice” that would damage RN’s popularity ahead of the 2027 elections. Another theory posits that Macron wants to form a broad coalition against the “far right,” incorporating more left-wing elements into his party and shoring up its popularity. 

Some in Macron’s camp do not believe that this was a smart move on his part. Macron’s current premier and close ally, Gabriel Attal, tried to dissuade Macron from dissolving the National Assembly; he even offered to resign in exchange for the parliament not being dissolved. 

Currently, seat projections show the RN winning between 250 and 300 seats in Parliament, meaning that it will likely either win a plurality or (if it wins over 289) an outright majority. It is unclear what would happen in the case of a hung parliament.