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Elections in France: All against the National Union

Macron with President Isaac Herzog. Wikipedia

The second round of elections to parliment are held today in France. As remembered, this was a lightning election demanded by President Emmanuel Macron just a few weeks ago, after the European Parliament elections, during which it became clear that the French far right had achieved significant reinforcement. This was a certain gamble on the part of Macron, which we already reviewed – in the hope that he would eventually emerge reinforced in parliament at the expense of the far-right National Union party, led by Jordan Bardella and Marine Le Pen.

The bet failed in the first round of the election, with the far-right party winning more than a third of the votes across France. But now Macron is waging a desperate braking battle against Le Pen and her party, realizing that he will not get the desired majority in the French parliament anyway: In the second round, only candidates who received more than onr eighth of the votes in the first round advanced to the next, leaving 3 candidates in most districts – a National Union candidate, a candidate for Macron’s Renaissance party, and a candidate of ‘the popular front’ that brings together most of the left, moderate and extreme parties. In order to defeat the right-wing candidates, Macron and Melanchon (the leader of the PF) reached an agreement on the withdrawal of candidates, when in each district the candidate with the least chances of winning (based on the results of the first round) is retiring from the race. In this way, most voters are expected to unite behind the candidate who is not from the National Union, and to prevent the establishment of a new government by Bardella.

It is impossible to know whether Macron’s political manifold exercise will succeed, but France is certainly expected to shake in the coming days – when a far-right government will emerge in France, or a government in which the far-left has significant representation. For Israel, the second option is particularly troubling, as Melanshon himself has consistently stood by the Palestinians since the outbreak of the war 9 months ago. On the other hand, the rise of the extreme right could cause a stir in France’s national priorities and its place within the framework of the alliances of the international West today. The options are not good, but the only hope is that this will trigger a significant wave of immigration from France to Israel in the near future.

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