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Country Reports

France ahead of the European elections

by Anja Czymmeck, Nele Katharina Wissmann

Right-wing populists on the rise

On 9 March, President Macron's ruling Renaissance party officially launched its European election campaign. The election campaign kicked off under the impression of the current polls, which show significant gains for the right-wing populists in France. The question is whether this trend can still be reversed by the election date on 9 June 2024. Three months before the European elections, the French are particularly concerned about purchasing power and rising food prices. At 55% and 52% respectively, these two issues dominate the concerns of the French and will therefore be decisive for the 2024 European elections. This set of issues also includes the topic of agriculture, which has gained significant momentum with the farmers' protests at the beginning of 2024. Immigration and security are in third and fifth place respectively, which is likely to play into the hands of right-wing populist parties in particular. The war in Ukraine, which only concerned 18% of French people at the end of 2023, appears to have returned to the focus of the French population as a result of the Ukraine aid conference in Paris and the public disputes about France's involvement. In February 2024, 23% of respondents described the war in Ukraine as a key challenge and as significant for their own voting decision in the European elections.

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Current polls and trends

In current polls on the upcoming European elections, the right-wing populist party Rassemblement National has been in a stable lead since the end of 2023 with 27% and some opinion research institutes, such as IPSOS, even put it at 31%.[2] The presidential majority from the Renaissance, MoDem and Horizons parties is far behind the populists with 19%, followed by the socialist camp with 10%. The bourgeois-conservative camp of Les Républicains (LR), the far-right Renconquête party and, on the left, the Greens and La France insoumise (LFI) are positioned at 8% and 7% respectively.

These current polls show that the right-wing populists around party leader Jordan Bardella are clearly in the lead. There was a similar situation in the 2019 election year, when they dominated the elections with 23.34%, but were only relatively narrowly ahead of the presidential majority, which came in at 22.42%. As in 2019, 42%[3] of voters in France stated that they wanted to use the European elections to use their vote in the European elections to punish President Emmanuel Macron and his government for their governance. Among supporters of the Rassemblement National, as many as 72%[4] of respondents say they are voting for the right-wing populists to express their opposition to the president and the government. Another loser appears to be the green camp, which was still in third place in 2019 with 13.48%.

The bourgeois-conservative camp of the Républicains party, which achieved 8.48% of the vote in 2019, is not improving according to the latest poll results. It remains to be seen whether the nomination of farmer Céline Imart in second place on the LR list will boost the party in the polls.


The full-length publication is only available in german.

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Anja Czymmeck

Anja Czymmeck

Head of the France Office +33 156 69 15 00


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