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250,000 demonstrators against the far right in France as the legislative elections approach

Photo: Sameer Al-Doumy Agence France-Presse Around 200 demonstrations are planned in total in the country during the weekend two weeks before the legislative elections which are causing a chaotic recomposition of political life in France.

Gregory Danel – Agence France-Presse and Boris Cambreleng – Agence France-Presse in Paris

Posted at 11:14 a.m. Updated at 4:22 p.m.

  • Europe

At least 250,000 people marched in France on Saturday against the far right, in a position of strength ahead of early legislative elections called by President Emmanuel Macron, whose camp is trying to regain control with promises in favor of purchasing power.

Unions, associations and left-wing parties had called for a “popular tidal wave” to stave off a new victory for the National Rally (RN , far right) on June 30 and July 7, after his triumph on Sunday in the European elections which led the Head of State to dissolve the National Assembly.

In the crowd where the authorities counted 250,000 people including 75,000 in Paris (640,000 according to the CGT union), the demonstrators expressed their fear that the far right would impose itself with Jordan Bardella, 28, as Prime Minister, in a cohabitation with President Macron.

These figures are far below the mobilization of May 1, 2002 when more than a million people demonstrated to say “no” to National Front after the qualification of Jean-Marie Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election.

The same slogans resonated in the approximately 200 processions in the country: “Bardella get out of it, the Republic is not yours”, “youth piss off the Front national”, “no neighborhood for fascists, no fascists in our neighborhoods”.

“Now it can happen”, worried Florence David, 60 years old, 60-year-old trainer, in the Parisian procession.

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“We are potentially in a tipping point for democracy,” said Marylise Léon, the head of the CFDT, one of the five unions which called for mobilization, two weeks before a surprise election which violently shakes political life in France.

While the Euro football started Friday evening in Germany, the striker of the French team Marcus Thuram called for “fighting so that the RN does not pass”, a rare position for a top athlete level.

To block the path of the extreme right, the main left-wing parties (the radical left of La France Insoumise, the socialists and the Ecologists) hastily succeeded in ally around a common program and candidates despite their differences on Ukraine or Gaza.

250,000 demonstrators against the far right in France as the legislative elections approach

Photo: Zakaria Abdelkafi Agence France-Presse A protester against the far right in Paris

The New Popular Front alliance experienced its first tensions on Saturday after the LFI's decision not to reinvest opponents of the party's leader, Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

The sidelined elected officials denounced “a purge”. Others deplored that Adrien Quatennens, close to this leader of the radical left, was reinvested even though he was convicted in 2022 for domestic violence.


“Extremely shocked” by this “purge”, the boss of the Ecologists Marine Tondelier summoned the authorities of her party. The boss of the socialists Olivier Faure, for his part, judged the “eviction” of the LFI deputies as “scandalous”.

Defender of the union of the left despite his animosity towards LFI, the former socialist president of the Republic François Hollande (2012-2017) also created a surprise by announcing his candidacy for the legislative elections in Corrèze (center).

“If I made this decision, it is because I felt that the situation was serious, more than it has ever been,” he justified.

President Macron, who is participating this weekend in a G7 in Italy and a summit on Ukraine in Switzerland, described the differences on the left as “a spectacle of great incoherence”: “We is among the crazy, it's not serious.”

The president of the National Rally, Jordan Bardella, who is aiming for the post of prime minister at 28, said that only “two political groups” will be able to “compose a government”: his own and this new union of the left.

His party is currently in the lead in opinion surveys. An Opinionway poll published on Saturday credits him with 33% of voting intentions, ahead of the New Popular Front (25%) and the presidential majority (20%).

Lagging behind, the Republican right has been tearing itself apart since Republican President Eric Ciotti's call to ally with the RN. On Friday, the Paris court caused yet another twist by invalidating his exclusion.

Without referring specifically to France, the head of the Italian government Giorgia Meloni, whose country hosted the G7, said he hoped that Europe would take into account the “message” sent to the European elections, marked by a surge from the far right.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116