French voters cast ballots in second round of election

PARIS: French voters are heading to the polls on Sunday for the second and final round of voting in a snap parliamentary election.

After an initial ballot suggested the far-right National Rally (RN) group would become the biggest party in France’s National Assembly, parties on the center-right and left have joined forces to try to block RN’s advance.

Both President Emmanuel Macron’s “Together” (Ensemble) alliance and the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) have called on voters to reject the party in the second round, and have withdrawn candidates in many constituencies where another candidate was better placed to beat the RN.

Also read: Far right hopes to make history as France votes in high-stakes poll

By offering voters a starker choice and fewer candidates, RN’s opponents hope that the electorate will opt for the non-RN candidate.

Analysts predict that National Rally — the nationalist, anti-immigrant and euroskeptic party led by 28-year-old Jordan Bardella and party figurehead Marine Le Pen — is now less likely to be able to achieve an absolute majority (of 289 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly) but is still likely to gather the most votes.

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