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France's Greens urge presidential coalition to block far right in second round

President of the Green Party Marine Tondelier, right, attends a campaign meeting of the France's left-wing coalition known as the New Popular Front, in Montreuil, 17 June 2024
President of the Green Party Marine Tondelier, right, attends a campaign meeting of the France's left-wing coalition known as the New Popular Front, in Montreuil, 17 June 2024 Copyright Thomas Padilla/AP Photo
Copyright Thomas Padilla/AP Photo
By Lauren Chadwick
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The Greens want a commitment from parties in Prime Minister Gabriel Attal's coalition to drop out of the race in the second round if it means blocking the far-right National Rally.


The head of France's Green Party has called on the presidential coalition's leaders to commit to withdrawing from second-round legislative races to prevent far-right candidates from winning.

In a letter addressing the presidents of four political parties in Emmanuel Macron's coalition, Marine Tondelier, national secretary of the French Ecologists party, wrote that the country's "situation called for simple and clear commitments."

Her party would "do everything to beat National Rally candidates", Tondelier added.

Recent polls suggest that in France's upcoming snap legislative elections on 30 June and 7 July, the National Rally (RN) will finish with the most votes followed by the large left-wing coalition the New Popular Front (NFP).

Tondelier said that her party would support a "Republican" candidate over a National Rally contender in the second round of elections, adding that all constituencies count.

While the candidates who finish first and second in the first round typically make it to the run-off, those who receive more than 12.5% of the vote can also pass the first round.

This means multiple candidates can make it to the second vote on 7 July.

"If we arrive in third place and the RN candidate is likely to win, we would withdraw our candidate in favour of a candidate with Republican values," said Tondelier.

A 'third way' to stop the extremes?

Macron's coalition came a distant second in the June European elections after the far right, with the major political defeat prompting the president to dissolve parliament and call for a snap election.

Now, with a new left-wing coalition, Macron's centrists could come third. The presidential coalition has presented itself as neither left nor right, with the president saying this week that the programmes of both "extremes" could lead to "civil war".

Macron also said in a letter published by the local radio network France Bleu on Sunday that his prime minister's Together for the Republic coalition represented a "third way" and the only proposal that "can certainly block the extreme right as well as the extreme left in the second round".

"Some have wanted to equate this New Popular Front and the National Rally. We understand very well the electoral interest that could have pushed them to fall into this trap," said Tondelier.

She pointed out that the RN has been officially classified as "far-right" by the government, while the left-wing coalition parties have been classified as "left".

An editorial published in the French newspaper Le Monde on Tuesday and signed by more than 220 politicians and members of civil society called for "democratic forces" to come together and prevent the far right from winning.

They called to "avoid the democratic, economic, social and ecological catastrophe that would the extreme right's coming to power".

However, a government minister who signed the editorial, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, specified that she would not support a candidate from the leftist party La France Insoumise, or France Unbowed, which is part of the left-wing coalition.

"The far right and the far left are fanning the embers of tensions within our society," she wrote in a post on the social media platform X on Wednesday.

"The useful vote is from the first round on Sunday. And the candidates behind [PM] Gabriel Attal are best placed to block the extremes on the right and the left," she added.

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