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Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally in third place after France election, exit poll shows | World News

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National Rally has come third in the second round of voting in France’s parliamentary election – according to exit polls.

Marine Le Pen’s far-right party was being tipped to emerge as the dominant force in French politics following President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to hold a snap poll.

But the left-wing New Popular Front coalition won the most seats in the second voting round of parliamentary elections, according to the polls.

An IFOP estimate for broadcaster TF1 said the New Popular Front (NFP) could win 180-215 seats in parliament in the second voting round, while an Ipsos poll for France TV projected 172-215 seats for the left-wing bloc.

President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist group was said to be narrowly ahead of National Rally.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, who leads left wing party France Unbowed, said the projections were an “immense relief for a majority of people in our country”.

If the exit polls prove accurate, France is on course for a hung parliament, divided between three sizeable groups.

Unless the left can strike deals with other parties, a period of instability is possible.

Supporters of the left wing France Unbowed party celebrate the exit polls in Paris. Pic: Reuters

Prior to voting, opinion polls had been forecasting that National Rally would win the most seats in the National Assembly, but also predicted it would fall short of an absolute majority.

Voter turnout stood at 59.71% by 5pm local time – up from a corresponding figure of 38.11% in the last election in 2022, the interior ministry said.

It has been a volatile campaign, with more than 50 candidates reporting being physically attacked.

More than 30,000 police were deployed on voting day.

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