Far-Right Leader Jordan Bardella Seeks Absolute Majority to Govern France Effectively

Far-Right Leader Jordan Bardella Seeks Absolute Majority to Govern France Effectively

Daniel Hall 18/06/2024
Far-Right Leader Jordan Bardella Seeks Absolute Majority to Govern France Effectively

Jordan Bardella, leader of France's far-right National Rally (RN), has made a direct appeal to voters.

He is urging them to grant his party an absolute majority in the upcoming parliamentary elections on June 30 and July 7. Bardella's eurosceptic and anti-immigration party is poised for its first genuine chance at national power following President Emmanuel Macron's unexpected decision to dissolve parliament earlier this month. Despite consistently leading in opinion polls, the RN faces a significant challenge in securing the 289 seats necessary for an absolute majority in France’s 577-seat National Assembly.

Pollsters attempting to predict the outcome of the second round of voting have expressed doubts about RN’s ability to achieve this majority. Bardella, however, remains adamant that without an absolute majority, the RN's ability to implement its policies would be severely hampered. "I'm not going to sell to the French reforms that I cannot carry out. I'm telling them that in order to act, I need an absolute majority," Bardella stated in an interview with CNews TV. He echoed this sentiment in a discussion with Le Parisien, emphasizing the need for voter support to ensure effective governance alongside Marine Le Pen, the RN’s former leader and its candidate for the 2027 presidential election.

Bardella, at 28, has moderated some of the RN's more controversial pledges in response to investor concerns about their potential impact on public finances. Notably, he indicated that an RN government would not immediately cut VAT on a list of 100 essential goods. However, he reaffirmed ambitious plans to reduce VAT on petrol, heating fuel, electricity, and gas from 20% to 5.5%, a move he wants to prioritize as Prime Minister. "If I run the country without an absolute majority, I won't be able to cut VAT on fuel and on gas... I won't be able to drastically cut immigration," Bardella told Le Parisien.

The RN's economic policies remain somewhat vague, but Bardella has hinted at financing their plans by eliminating certain tax breaks. One such target is the tax break for shipping companies, which he claims costs the state 5 billion euros annually. "There is a tax break for shipping firms that costs the state 5 billion euros and I want to end this tax break," he said.

This proposal has significant implications, particularly for French shipping giant CMA CGM, which became France's most profitable company in 2022, surpassing industry giants like TotalEnergies and luxury conglomerate LVMH. CMA CGM, led by Rodolphe Saade and his family, reported a net profit of nearly $25 billion last year, bolstered by a post-COVID boom in shipping. The company has utilized its substantial earnings for numerous acquisitions in logistics, port terminals, and French media, including a deal to acquire the news channel BFM TV. When asked about Bardella's comments, CMA CGM declined to comment.

Bardella’s push for an absolute majority is not merely a plea for political support but a strategic move to ensure that RN can execute its policy agenda without reliance on alliances. "To govern, I need an absolute majority," he asserted, suggesting that the RN might reject any coalition offers if it falls short of the 289-seat threshold. "Who can believe that we would be able to change the daily lives of the French by cohabitation with a relative majority? No one. I say to the French: to try us, we need an absolute majority."

Bardella’s campaign is positioned at a critical juncture for France, with voters facing a choice between maintaining the status quo or taking a definitive turn towards far-right policies. His call for an absolute majority underscores the high stakes of the upcoming elections, highlighting the RN's determination to achieve its vision for France, including its stance on immigration and economic reform.

As the elections approach, the political landscape in France remains highly fluid, with the potential for significant shifts in voter sentiment. Bardella’s strategy hinges on convincing a broad base of voters that the RN can deliver on its promises only if granted full legislative power. The outcome of this electoral gamble will not only shape the future of the RN but also the direction of French politics in the coming years.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

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