Marine Le Pen to leave presidency of National Rally party

Marine Le Pen to leave presidency of National Rally party
Marine Le Pen. Credit: Belga

Following a record success in the second round of the French legislative elections on 19 June, which gained the party a total of 89 elected deputies, National Rally (RN) party leader Marine Le Pen has announced that she will leave the presidency of the party to focus on leading the group within the National Assembly, the lower house of the bicameral French Parliament.

“I will not take over the leadership of the RN. I will focus on the presidency of this very large group,” Le Pen told a crowd of supporters from her stronghold of Hénin-Beaumont in Pas-de-Calais, northern France.

Following the results of the election, the party will now likely form a large parliamentary group of far-right forces within the French national assembly. The party managed to elect a record number of deputies this year, alongside Mélenchon’s left-wing Nupes coalition, ultimately stopping Macron from achieving an overall majority.

After the Nupes coalition secured second place as the main opposition, the far-right National Rally is now the third-largest group within the National Assembly, holding around 15% of seats.

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“We hoped to have a group and in our greatest hopes we wanted to have 60 deputies. It is true that we were pleasantly surprised by the mobilisation of our compatriots and by this wish that immigration, that insecurity, that the fight against Islamism does not disappear from the National Assembly,” she said.

The RN had its best showing since 1986, when Marine Le Pen’s father, controversial hard-right figurehead Jean-Marie Le Pen led 35 MPs into parliament. Le Pen has stated her intention of focusing on building upon the gains made in the National Assembly, but made no assurances that she would run as party leader in 2027.

Le Pen stated that the National Rally party would soon hold a conference to elect the new leader of the party. This will be the first time in history that the RN, or the former National Front, will be led by someone outside of the Le Pen family. This year, the RN party will celebrate its 50th anniversary following years of controversy.

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