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Le Pen looks to put the sword to Macron

Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen

With just three months until the European Parliament elections, France’s far-right leader Marine Le Penopened her campaign on Sunday with a commanding lead over her main rivals.

The Rassemblement National party’s pledge to claw back sovereignty from Brussels bureaucrats has garnered the support of 30% of voters. Meanwhile, the centrist coalition of current President Emmanuel Macron, who has called for the EU to bolster its global role, trails RN by a distant 12 points, according to recent polls.

The right-populist RN has profited from broader French misgivings about immigration as well as the recent massive protests by farmers who are angry about EU climate regulations that entail removing subsidies and other benefits from the agriculture sector.

RN’s performance this summer will be a bellwether of broader trends in Europe, where nationalist parties have been rising again. But it will also frame expectations about the 2027 French presidential election, where Le Pen is hoping her fourth run for France’s top job will be the charm.

Macron, who will launch his own EU parliament campaign later this week, recently tapped 34-year old Gabriel Attal as PM in a move widely seen as an effort to close the gap with the RN.


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