The Guardian view on Macron’s gamble: playing with political fire | Editorial

The Guardian view on Macron’s gamble: playing with political fire | Editorial

The French president’s decision to call a snap parliamentary election, after Marine Le Pen’s triumph in European polls, is a fateful moment

Ahead of Sunday’s European election results, attention was understandably focused on the impact of a potential far-right surge on the balance of power in Brussels institutions. In the event, the pan-European centre held, just about, with more moderate conservative parties generally enjoying a good night. But that was not even close to being the main headline of the evening.

Emmanuel Macron’s shock decision to call snap legislative elections, after a humiliating defeat at the hands of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party (RN), is a gamble of the highest order, taken from a position of weakness. Even by the standards of a president who created his own movement to demolish the traditional centre-left and centre-right, it is a surprisingly risky move. In a Sunday evening address, Mr Macron told the nation that it was a necessary one in order to “clarify” a result that saw the extreme right win a combined 40% of the vote. That clarification, when it comes on 7 July, may or may not be welcome.

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