France just finished a fast election campaign, and despite last-minute efforts to stop them, it looks like the far-right National Rally (RN) party might win big in parliamentary elections.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal warned that a win for the RN could lead to more hate and aggression. But RN, led by Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella, is doing well in the polls.

The RN has faced accusations of racism but still leads the opinion polls. They need to win an absolute majority over two rounds of voting to take control. The first round is coming up on Sunday, and the second round will be on 7 July.

President Emmanuel Macron surprised everyone by calling for elections just three weeks ago. The RN is hoping to win many seats in the National Assembly right away, needing over 50% of the vote. The left-wing New Popular Front is also aiming for victory, close behind in the polls.

Prime Minister Attal’s Ensemble alliance is in third place. He says both the RN and the New Popular Front are too extreme.

In some areas, like L’Aisne, the RN has strong support. Long-time party members like Franck Briffaut see victory as inevitable. The RN wants an absolute majority, but Macron has said he won’t leave office until his term ends in 2027.

Jordan Bardella, aiming to be the next prime minister, won’t settle for less than an absolute majority. If RN falls short, Macron will have to choose a new prime minister, possibly from the biggest party.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin warned that both the far-left and far-right might cause chaos after the election. Meanwhile, in the town of Soissons, some people are worried about the RN’s rise, fearing their policies and rhetoric.

One of RN’s main policies is “National priority,” which limits social welfare to French citizens. They also want tax cuts on energy and income for under-30s and to restrict certain jobs to only French nationals.

For more details, read the full story on BBC.

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