President of the French far-right National Rally party (RN-Rassemblement National in French) Jordan Bardella (R) and party's parliamentary leader Marine Le Pen (L) react after delivering a speech as the party launches European election campaign in Marseille, Southern France, 03 March 2024. EPA-EFE/Guillaume Horcajuelo


Leaked secret poll gives Le Pen majority in French parliament


According to a leaked secret poll commissioned by Les Républicains, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party could obtain a possible majority in the French Parliament.

The centre-right Les Républicains Party commissioned the private poll in December 2023, which was never supposed to become public.

With a substantive sample size of 4,000 people interviewed by the Ipsos institute, the poll explored French voters’ intentions at the time.

At the time Les Républicains were contemplating voting for the government’s censure, which would have led to a dissolution of Parliament and return to the ballot box.

“In the midst of the immigration law [dispute], we wanted to take the pulse of the country, a person close to party leader Eric Ciotti confirmed to the French weekly newspaper L’Obs.

The Ipsos poll result surprised Ciotti and his chief party officials.

Rather than gain seats as they hoped, they would lose nine to ten seats, going from 62 MPs in 2022 to about 53.

The big winner of a December vote would have been Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN). Her right-wing populist party would be close to a majority, rising from 88 seats today to an average 278, making an absolute majority (289 seats) a possibility.

Such a score would be “An unprecedented electoral earthquake under the Ve Republic, which would open the door to a cohabitation between Emmanuel Macron”, L’Obs writes.

Macron’s own majority would be demolished, with the President’s party ending up with only 135 seats.

This is almost half as many as the 246 MPs Macron won in 2022, which already was only a relative majority, forcing him to form a coalition.

Another political group standing to lose significantly is the New Ecological and Social People’s Union (Nupes).

This left-wing coalition would see its strength diminish, to 68 seats, from the 131 it won two years ago.

Because of the dispiriting poll results for Les Républicains, the party never voted to censure the government.

Alexandre Loubet, MP for Moselle from Le Pen’s Rassemblement National party, welcomed disclosure of the poll’s results.

“A secret poll commissioned by LR in December 2023 gives a majority of RN deputies in the Assembly in the event of dissolution, leading to cohabitation. Victory is possible: never abstain again. If the people vote, the people win!” said Loubet.

His fellow RN MP Nicolas Meizonnet concurred, “This proves that the overused argument that ‘the RN can never have a majority’ was nothing more than a communication ploy. We will win in 2027, and we will have a majority in parliament. But first, the European elections! Can’t wait for June 9th.”

Rassemblement National also leads in European election polls, Rassemblement National, where it is expected to go from 23 to 30 per cent of the vote.

Besoin d’Europe, a coalition including French President Emmanuel Macron’s Party, is set to lose around five per cent of the vote and end up with 17 per cent.