France? Nothing good comes of it

In France, the nationalist right wing is ascendant. This week on the AIAC podcast, we discuss the country’s upcoming legislative elections.

Image credit Lorie Shaull via Flickr CC BY 2.0.

On July 7, France heads to the polls in the second round of a legislative election widely viewed as a referendum on the country’s future. The results of the first round boasted a strong showing for the far-right party, Rassemblement National (National Rally), which won 33% of the popular vote. The leftist alliance, Nouveau Front Populaire (New Popular Front), won 28% and President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist bloc Ensemble (Together) came third with 21%.

Macron called the elections in early June after elections for the European Parliament resulted in a big swing to the right across the continent. Of the 81 seats designated for France in the 720-member body (the second-largest allocation of any member state after Germany), the National Rally won the most—30 to be exact. Faced with an uncertain parliamentary mandate, Macron seemingly called the elections to test the national mood, a gambit that many commentators say has backfired. 

Joining the podcast to discuss these elections, is AIAC’s Francophone regional editor, Shamira Ibrahim. Why are these elections significant? Why is Macron so popular, and how come it’s the once-fringe right-wing benefitting, rather than the left? What might the normalization of anti-migrant policies mean for black and brown people in France, as well as the more than two million people who live in France’s overseas territories?  In addition to being our Francophone regional editor, Shamira is a Brooklyn-based writer by way of Harlem, Canada, and the Comoros, who explores identity, cultural production, and technology.

Listen to the show below and subscribe on your favorite platform.

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