The far-right has taken another step toward power in France's elections

  • The far-right scored a major win in the first round of parliamentary elections in France.

  • Marine Le Pen's National Rally won roughly 34% of the vote, per projections.

  • President Emmanuel Macron called for a snap election in early June in what was a huge gamble.

The far-right National Rally has opened up a lead in the first round of critical parliamentary elections in France, with results that could soon spell the end of the centrist government alliance backed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Projections in Sunday's first round showed that Marine Le Pen's National Rally had secured 34% of the national vote, followed by a roughly 29% share for the leftist alliance New Popular Front and 20% for Macron's Together alliance.

The second round of voting will be held on July 7.

The parties are competing for 577 seats in the National Assembly, the lower house of the French parliament.

After the initial first-round results, Le Pen told supporters it was important to earn a majority vote in the second round — a feat that could usher in National Rally president Jordan Bardella as France's prime minister.

Macron called for a snap election earlier this month after Le Pen's party scored major wins in the European parliamentary elections.

The move by the French president was seen as a major gamble as there were only three weeks to campaign. He recently sought to warn voters of what he said were the perils of potential far-right or far-left governments.

"When you are fed up with everything, when daily life is hard, you can be tempted by extremes that have quicker solutions," Macron said during a recent interview on the podcast "Generation Do It Yourself."

"But the solution will never lie in rejecting others," he added.

Macron defeated Le Pen in both the 2017 and 2022 French presidential elections. However, while Le Pen only won 34% of the national vote share in the first election, she made substantial gains two years ago and captured more than 41% of the national vote amid growing dissatisfaction with Macron's leadership.

Should the National Rally perform strongly in the second round of this year's parliamentary elections, it could give France its first far-right government since World War II.

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