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Le Pen party tipped for Euro election victory over 'failing' Macron

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By Alastair Jamieson  & AFP and Reuters
Jordan Bardellam, the top candidate for Le Pen's National Rally party
Jordan Bardellam, the top candidate for Le Pen's National Rally party

Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN) has won the most votes in the European Parliament election in France, according to two exit poll predictions — an upset to the ambitions of centrist President Emmanuel Macron.

An IFOP poll showed the RN winning 24 percent of the vote compared with 22.5 percent for Macron's centrist party. An Elabe poll showed similar figures and forecast they would leave Le Pen's party with 24 seats in the European Parliament compared with 23 seats for Macron's La Republic En Marche.

Jordan Bardella, the lead list RN candidate, said: "The government in power is failing, tonight it is [Macron] and his policies that are rejected."

But a spokesman for the French president said the projected result would not lead to a change in the government's reform drive.

"There is, of course, some disappointment," an Elysee official said. "But the result is absolutely honourable compared to how incumbents did in previous European elections.”

Macron wants to “intensify Act II of his presidency at the national level, so there is no change in policy to be expected," the official said.

Meanwhile, environmentalists were hailing their predicted third place finish as part of a European “green wave.”

"The French have sent us a very clear signal: they want ecology to be at the heart of the political game,” Yannick Jadot, top of the list for the Europe Ecology The Greens party (EELV), told BFMTV.

"This is a European green wave of which we are the drivers.”