What Data Tells Us about Support for The French Far-Right RN Ahead Of The Legislative Elections Runoff

In the first round of the French legislative election on June 30, 2024, the far-right National Rally (RN), led by Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella, achieved notable success, positioning itself for a realistic chance to run the government and potentially take outright control of the National Assembly in today’s run-off. The election results reveal critical insights into the demographics that propelled RN’s success.

The RN garnered substantial support from middle-aged, working-class voters without a formal higher education degree. Specifically, the party saw its strongest backing among the 35-49 and 50-64 age groups, receiving 39% and 40% of their votes, respectively. This trend underscores RN’s appeal to economically active and middle-aged individuals.

The occupational sector also played a significant role in RN’s performance. Workers and private sector employees showed pronounced support for RN, with 51% and 43% of their votes, respectively. Additionally, those with below Baccalaureate education levels favored RN heavily, with 45% of their votes going to the party. These demographics highlight RN’s resonance with less-educated, working-class individuals who may feel disenfranchised by traditional political parties.

Interestingly, the election data indicates a relatively small gender gap in voting behavior in France. RN won 35% of the vote among men and 31% among women, averaging 33% overall in the first round. This minimal gender disparity suggests that RN’s message and platform have a broad appeal across both male and female voters, contrary to the more pronounced gender divides observed in other countries.

In summary, the RN’s strong performance in the first round can be attributed to its significant support from middle-aged, working-class voters without higher education, as well as its broad appeal across genders. These factors combined to create a formidable base for RN, setting the stage for a highly competitive run-off election.