President Emmanuel Macron has unexpectedly dissolved the lower house of France's parliament, prompting voters to return to the polls in the coming weeks to elect new lawmakers.

This decision followed a significant defeat for his party by the far-right in Sunday's European elections.

The legislative elections will take place on 30th June and 7th July in two rounds, AP News reports.

The announcement followed initial projections from France indicating the far-right National Rally party leading significantly in the European Union parliamentary elections, delivering a significant setback to Macron's pro-European centrists, according to French polling organisations.

Marine Le Pen's nationalist, anti-immigration party was estimated to receive approximately 31%-32% of the votes, marking a historic achievement. This was more than double the vote share of Macron's Renaissance party, which was projected to secure around 15%.

Macron wasn't a candidate in the EU elections, and he still had three more years left in his term as president.

The president said the decision was “serious” but showed his “confidence in our democracy, in letting the sovereign people have their say.”

“In the next few days, I’ll be saying what I think is the right direction for the nation. I’ve heard your message, your concerns, and I won’t leave them unanswered,” he stated.

Le Pen “welcomed” Macron’s move.

“We’re ready for it. We’re ready to exercise power if the French people place their trust in us in these future legislative elections. We’re ready to turn the country around, ready to defend the interests of the French, ready to put an end to mass immigration, ready to make the purchasing power of the French a priority,” she said.

Furthermore, EU election projections also indicate a resurgence of the Socialist Party, which campaigned on more ambitious climate policies and protections for European businesses and workers, garnering about 14% of the votes.

In response to Macron’s announcement, far-left politician Francois Ruffin urged all left-wing leaders, including the Greens, to unite under a single “Popular Front” banner. “To avoid the worse, to win,” he stated on X.

News you might like

Media contact

deVere France’s Public Relations Department deals with all areas of the media and external communications including international, national, regional, local, trade, consumer, print, broadcast, social and online. The Department aims to provide a helpful service to journalists, broadcasters and editors, amongst others, and reply to all media enquiries, including urgent enquiries out of hours, within agreed deadlines. Our press office does not have access to client details and will not be able to assist with individual client enquiries. Please contact deVere France’s Head of Public Relations on [email protected] or call +44 2071220925