Macron urges democratic alliance against far right after National Rally's election success

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday called for a "broad" democratic alliance against the far right after the National Rally party won the first round of parliamentary elections, according to estimates.

"Faced with the National Rally, the time has come for a broad, unequivocally democratic and republican alliance for the second round," he said in a statement.

He also noted that the high turnout in the first round highlighted "the importance of this vote for all our compatriots and the desire to clarify the political situation".

But it remained unclear if the far-right National Rally (RN) party of Marine Le Pen would win an absolute majority of seats in the new National Assembly lower house in the July 7 second round and claim the post of prime minister.

Macron had stunned the nation and baffled even some allies by calling snap polls after the RN trounced his centrist forces in European Parliament elections this month.

That gamble risks backfiring, with Macron's alliance now expected to win a far smaller minority contingent in parliament, making the president a far less powerful figure for the remaining three years of his term.

Projections from prominent French polling firms gave the RN 34.5 percent of the vote, compared to 28.5-29.1 percent for the left-wing New Popular Front alliance, and 20.5-21.5 percent for Macron's centrist camp.

The polling agencies projected this would give the RN a majority of seats in the 577-seat National Assembly after the second round and a possible absolute majority.

In a statement, Macron called for a "broad" alliance against the far right in the second round.


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