Skip to main content

What a far-right French government could look like

Jews and Muslims fear that a far-right win at the French parliamentarian elections on Sunday could damage their freedom of religious practice.
Former President of the French far-right Rassemblement National (RN) parliamentary group Marine Le Pen.

PARIS — As France prepares for the second round of parliamentary elections on Sunday, many fear the toughening of laws against immigrants and religious practices such as halal and kosher slaughtering, should the far-right win the elections.

"It is not the issue of immigration that dominates the current election campaign, but that of Muslim immigration," French sociologist and writer Michel Crespy told Al-Monitor, adding that "the place of Islam nowadays — France has definitely been one of the major subjects of this campaign, alongside antisemitism and the Gaza war."

French President Emmanuel Macron decided to dissolve the national assembly on June 9, after the French far-right party National Rally scored 31% in the elections for European Parliament. The first election round for the French parliament offered the National Rally 33% of the votes, but many of the candidates did not reach the required 50% to definitely win a seat and have to run again next Sunday in the second round. All polls indicate that the National Rally will be the biggest party in the new parliament. What is at stake is the question of the majority. 

"The rate of voting was especially high last Sunday across the board, mostly in the more modest neighborhoods, because the issue at stake was especially dramatic. July 9 could be the first time since 1944 that France will be governed by the far right. And so, many people who usually do not vote came to the polling stations for the first round," said Crespy.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.