France: 51 Candidates and Campaign Assistants Attacked

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jul.05 - 2024 1:32 PM CET

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin criticizes election-related violence as police arrest 30 individuals.

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As the Labour Party celebrates its parliamentary win in the United Kingdom, other European countries are gearing up for summer elections.

In France, the lead-up to the parliamentary elections has taken a particularly turbulent turn.

Recent reports reveal that dozens of candidates and their supporters have been attacked.

"This election campaign is short, less than three weeks, and yet we already have 51 candidates, representatives, or supporters who have been physically attacked," said France's Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Friday on the BFMTV channel.

According to Darmanin, around 30 people have been arrested in connection with these attacks, with varied profiles.

One notable incident involved a team supporting government spokeswoman Prisca Thevenot, who is running for election in the Paris area. Thevenot’s deputy and a supporter were injured on Wednesday, although Thevenot herself was unharmed.

Polls and Predictions

As France prepares for run-off elections on Sunday to determine the composition of the National Assembly, polls indicate that Marine Le Pen's Rassemblement National (RN) is unlikely to secure an absolute majority.

According to an Ifop poll, the RN and its allies are projected to win between 210 and 240 seats, falling short of the 289 seats needed for an absolute majority. An Opinionway survey suggests a similar outcome, with the RN expected to secure 205 to 230 seats.

The new left-wing alliance, consisting of the Greens, Socialists, Communists, and the Left Party, is predicted to be the second-largest group. Ifop projects them to win 170 to 200 seats, while Opinionway expects 150 to 180 seats.

Polls indicate a disappointing result for President Emmanuel Macron's centrist forces, which are expected to come in third place.