FAR-RIGHT leader Marine Le Pen tonight hailed a "victory for the French people" as her party is forrecast to top the vote in EU elections.
The 50-year-old poured scorn on President Emmanuel Macron, 41, as early estimates put her National Rally on just over 24 per cent of the popular vote.
Mr Macron’s pro-EU en Marche is forecast to come in second with 22.4 percent.
In celebratory speech, Ms Le Pen said: “It is the President and his policies that are rejected.”
She added: “The French people have made their voice heard with unexpected force.
“This is immensely satisfying for all of those who have never ceased to believe in France.”
Sources close to Mr Macron meanwhile said that he was “satisfied with a result that was not unexpected.”
This is despite him projecting the election as an “existential moment” in Europe’s fight against populism in Europe.
A victory for the French people
Mr Macron has been struggling to cope with a number of threats since coming to power in 2017, including the anti-government Yellow Vests movement which has been rioting in major French cities since November.
The election results will translate to his newly-formed party gaining 23 seats in the European Parliament, while the National Rally will get 24.
This does not represent a significant gain for the Le Pen’s party, which was called the National Front (FN) until last year when it was rebranded.
FAR RIGHT VICTORY
Despite being a Eurosceptic party, the National Rally has used the European Parliament to raise its profile, especially as it has found it hard to win seats in the National Assembly, France’s domestic parliament.
Ms Le Pen’s father, anti-Semite Jean-Marie Le Pen, founded the FN as an extreme nationalist party, but his daughter has tried to soften its image.
Mr Le Pen has just stood down as an MEP and Marine is now relying on far-Right allies in countries such as Austria and Italy to push her anti-immigrant agenda.
She has rejected moves towards a Frexit – getting France out of the EU – instead saying she wants to reform the bloc from within.
It was also a good night for the Greens in France, as polls put them on 12 per cent of the popular vote.
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