French elections: One last chance to resist far-right after Le Pen wins first round

The first round of the French elections threw up a hugely disappointing result as the far-right appears to have made huge gains although, sadly, it was not unexpected.

Exit polls show that Marine Le Pen’s National Rally earned 34 percent of the votes and are on course for victory ahead of this Sunday’s second round.

While we persistently challenge, criticise and fight against the far-right, this would not have been possible without the shameful leadership of current president Emmanuel Macron, whose ‘centrist’ alliance managed just 20.3 percent of the vote.

Macron’s neglect of the people in favour of doing the bidding of the establishment has left the French people exasperated and that void has been exploited by Le Pen’s populist rhetoric in a time of desperation.

DiEM25 members had voted in favour of supporting the New Popular Front in the elections, as it was the most suitable alliance to combat the ever-growing far-right in the country.

The New Popular Front appears to be the only alliance committed to uniting the left-wing political parties as well as a broad coalition of trade union and civil society groups to halt the march towards fascism in France.

Its electoral programme outlines policies to reverse Macron’s attack on the social safety net in the Republic and end privileges for billionaires. It also aims to address climate issues and the democratic deficit in the country.

However, as we have seen throughout Europe and the United States in recent years, when leaders like Macron, who claimed to be defenders of liberal policies and supporters of the many, end up turning their backs on their people, they embolden those who shout the loudest and give rise to a worrying form of politics.

Second round still to go

As DiEM25, we will not stop our resistance to the far-right that is gaining ground in France, and we still urge our members and supporters to vote against Le Pen and her alliance this Sunday in one last attempt to keep them out of power.

The hopes of turning this around might be slim, but we must not throw in the towel while there is still a chance. The results of Sunday’s first round, while disappointing, have made the situation as clear as possible: anyone who stands against the far-right must make their voices heard by voting for the other option that exists. If not, deeply worrying times lie ahead for the French people and the rest of Europe.

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