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Far-Right Party Poised for Major Win in French Parliamentary Election Amid High Voter Turnout 

Voter turnout in France’s parliamentary run-off election rose sharply, with 26.63% turnout reported by midday, the highest since 1981.

Voter turnout in France’s parliamentary run-off election on Sunday reportedly rose sharply from the last time in 2022 in a ballot that could see the far-right National Rally (RN) emerge as the strongest force. 

Voting began at 8am (06:00 GMT) on Sunday and will close between 6pm (16:00 GMT) in rural areas and 8pm (18:00 GMT) in big cities. 

Approximately 30,000 police officers, including 5,000 in Paris, were deployed nationwide ahead of the vote.

As of midday, voter turnout was reported at 26.63 percent, the highest for a second round since 1981. 

The election could result in France’s first far-right government since World War II if RN, led by 28-year-old Jordan Bardella, wins and Bardella becomes prime minister.

RN led the previous week’s first-round voting, followed by a coalition of centre-left, hard-left, and Green parties. 

President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance came in third. 

In response, more than 200 centrist and left-wing candidates have withdrawn to strengthen other challengers’ chances against the far right, forming a so-called “republican front.”

Macron called these snap elections three years early after his alliance’s defeat in June’s European Parliament elections, a decision that puzzled many. 

Observers believe this gamble may have backfired, potentially doubling RN’s parliamentary presence while halving the number of centrist MPs.

The election’s outcome could result in a hung parliament, prompting coalition negotiations or the appointment of a non-affiliated government. 

Regardless, Macron has stated he will remain president until his term ends in 2027.

More than 49 million people are registered to vote. Racism, anti-Semitism, and reports of physical attacks on over 50 candidates have marred the campaign, amid heightened tensions as France prepares to host the Olympic Games and other major events.

Polling projections are expected on Sunday night, with early official results likely by late Sunday or early Monday.

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