‘Dejected’ Macron ‘makes no attempts to rally his troops’ at ‘morose’ crisis meeting as French president admits Le Pen’s National Rally party ‘is on its way to the highest office’ in Sunday’s election

Emmanuel Macron is staring down a French parliamentary election defeat as his centrist allies squabble with hard-left candidates over how to prevent Marine Le Pen‘s National Rally party from winning an absolute majority.

The hard-right National Rally (RN), headed by 28-year-old president Jordan Bardella, stormed to victory in the first round of elections on Sunday with some 33% of the vote, followed by the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) alliance on 28% – with Macron‘s centrists languishing in a distant third on just 20%.

Candidates from the hard-right have already scooped 38 confirmed seats by winning outright with more than 50% of the first-round votes in their constituencies.

By contrast, candidates from Macron’s alliance secured just two seats on Sunday, prompting the president to call on the left to create a ‘broad alliance’ to block the hard-right from ascending to power.

Third-place candidates who qualified for the second round have been urged to drop out to present a united front against the far right.

But instead of mounting one last defiant bout of campaigning this week, sources say Macron cut a morose and dejected figure as he met with ministers yesterday, making ‘no effort to galvanise his troops’.

The President gave no firm instructions to candidates over standing down, sources said – while some of his ministers cautioned voters against plumping for hard-left candidates.

‘Let’s not be mistaken. It’s the far right that’s on its way to the highest office, no one else,’ he said at the meeting, according to one participant.

Read more: ‘Dejected’ Macron ‘makes no attempts to rally his troops’ at ‘morose’ crisis meeting as French president admits Le Pen’s National Rally party ‘is on its way to the highest office’ in Sunday’s election



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