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Far-right National Rally party predicted to have strong lead in French election

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French voters have propelled the far-right National Rally to a strong lead in first-round legislative elections and plunged the country into political uncertainty.That is according to polling projections.French President Emmanuel Macron, who called the surprise elections just three weeks ago, urged voters to rally against the far right.Projections by polling agencies suggest the National Rally stands a good chance of winning a majority in the lower house of parliament for the first time, with an estimated one-third of the first-round vote.That is nearly double their 18% in the first round in 2022.The party is building on its success in European elections that prompted Mr Macron to dissolve parliament and call the surprise vote.The second round will be decisive but leaves open huge questions on how Mr Macron will share power with a prime minister who is hostile to most of his policies.The two-round elections that wrap up on July 7 could impact European financial markets, Western support for Ukraine and the management of France’s nuclear arsenal and global military force.Many French voters are frustrated about inflation and other economic concerns, as well as President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership, seen as arrogant and out-of-touch with their lives.Ms Le Pen’s anti-immigration National Rally party has tapped that discontent, notably via online platforms like TikTok, and led in pre-election opinion polls.A new coalition on the left, the New Popular Front, also poses a challenge to the pro-business Mr Macron and his centrist alliance Together for the Republic.It includes the French Socialists and Communists, the greens and the hard-left France Unbowed party and vows to reverse an unpopular pension reform law that raised the

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