Far-right EU Election Results Cause Macron to Call for Snap Election

RN militants celebrate after French President announced he is calling for new general elections on June 30 during an evening gathering of French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) on the final day of the European Parliament election, at the Pavillon Chesnaie du Roy in Paris, on June 9, 2024.
JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images

Far-right EU Election Results Cause Macron to Call for Snap Election

Europe has voted. The center-right won the most votes in European Parliament elections on Sunday, and far-right parties gained almost a quarter of the seats. The results were a slap in the face to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, as both their coalitions were outperformed by the far right.

The presidency: The center-right European People’s Party took 185 seats out of 720 in the European Parliament, giving conservative Ursula von der Leyen hope in securing a second term as president of the European Commission. To maintain the presidency, however, she will need support from at least 361 members of European Parliament. This means she will have to form alliances with other parties, maybe even ones further to the right.

The European Council will nominate its next candidate for the Commission’s presidency on June 27.

Germany: In Germany, the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) surpassed all three parties in Scholz’s coalition government.

  • The Christian Democratic and Conservative Political Alliance won the most seats: 29.
  • The AfD came in second place with 15 seats.
  • Scholz’s Social Democrats won 14 seats, its worst result ever.
  • The Greens, part of Scholz’s coalition, won 12 seats.
  • Also part of the coalition, the centralists and liberal Free Democratic Party won 5 seats.

France: The far-right opposition party National Rally (RN) in France won more than double the votes Macron’s centralist alliance received.

  • RN won 30 seats.
  • Macron’s Renaissance party won only 13.
  • Social Democrats also won 13.

Snap elections: After seeing the results, Macron called for an election. He dissolved France’s National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, and called for new elections on June 30 and July 7.

Macron told his people, “I’ve decided to give you back the choice.”

This is an essential time for clarification. I have heard your message, your concerns and I will not leave them unanswered. … France needs a clear majority to act in serenity and harmony.
—Emmanuel Macron

The election is a huge risk for Macron, but for the RN to win, it would need to gain 200 more seats than the 88 it already has. This is difficult, but not impossible.

Macron is likely banking on the RN not being able to win the election.

Cohabitation: If RN wins the election, Macron would have to elect a new prime minister and France would enter a “cohabitation scenario.” Macron would most likely elect RN president Jordan Bardella, which could cause a rift between Bardella and RN deputy leader Marine Le Pen. Bardella would have domestic power, but Macron would still control defense and foreign policy.

Macron could also use this as leverage to form an alliance before the election with parties, such as Les Républicains, who would do anything to avoid a Le Pen presidency.

Other members: Germany and France were not the only members of the European Union shaken by the shift right.

  • In Italy, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s hard-right Brothers of Italy party came in first.
  • In Austria, the far-right Freedom Party doubled its number of seats.
  • Poland’s far-right Confederation party had its greatest ever results, coming in third place.

Political change: The Trumpet has long forecast Europe’s shift to the right. This is because the Bible prophesies that Europe’s political makeup will dramatically change as its people search for a stronger, more aggressive and confident leader.

Learn more: Read “Europe’s Altered Personality.”