Gina Doggett and Zoe Leroy, AFP, June 11, 2017
Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front suffered a severe setback on Sunday, as her success in reaching the French presidential runoff failed to translate into support in parliamentary polls.
Le Pen won 10.7 million votes as she lost to Emmanuel Macron last month, but her party’s first-round result on Sunday saw it falling way short of its aim of getting a stronger voice in parliament.
The anti-EU, anti-immigration National Front (FN) is on course to win between one and 10 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly in the June 18 runoff. It had been aiming to boost its current two seats to 15.
Le Pen blamed what she called a skewed electoral system that encouraged a record low turnout after projections showed that FN candidates scored between 13 and 14 percent of the vote.
The FN had set the 15-seat goal in order to qualify as a parliamentary group, a status that gives a party more clout in the National Assembly with seats on committees and a role in setting the agenda.
The FN leader is currently a lawmaker in the European Parliament but is hoping to win a legislative seat in France for the first time.
She at least made it easily into the run-off in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont against 12 rivals and will fight a political novice from Macron’s party, Anne Roquet.