Record 37 French parties fielding lists for EU election

Europe  Photo compliation/AFP
© Photo compliation/AFP

Nearly 3,000 candidates will be in the running for France's 81 seats in the European Parliament, as a record 37 parties are fielding lists for the 9 June elections. Along with the established parties that have national politicians are a slew of single-issue lists that are hoping to get over five percent of the vote and win a seat in the assembly.

After Friday evening's deadline, the Interior Ministry published the official list of candidates for the 9 June European elections: 37 parties, three more than in 2019.

Each list must have 81 candidates to fill the number of seats France has in the 720-member assembly, which means there are 2997 people in the running.

The far right National Rally has been polling ahead of all the parties, with over 30 percent of the vote, followed by the ruling Renaissance party and the Socialists.

The hard left France Unbowed conservative Republicains and green EELV party are polling at about ten percent.

Depending on the poll, the Reconquete list, headed by Marion Marechal, Marine Le Pen's niece, and the far-right, anti-immigration former presidential candidate, Eric Zemmour, may or may not reach the five percent threshold to win a seat in the parliament.

Environment and anti-EU

Along with the established greens are several smaller environmental groups fielding candidates on different ends of the political spectrum.

Among the 37 lists, a handful are overtly anti-European, most of them on the right, including Europe ça suffit (Europe is enough), led by former National Rally member Florian Philippot and the leader of the Via movement, Jean-Frederic Poisson, which is calling for France to leave the EU and NATO.

The Communist for peace and social progress list is also calling for France to leave the EU and NATO.

They are among a group of leftist groups that have been unable to unify into a single list, including the NPA and FO.

Single issues

None of these lists are polling above the five percent threshold, nor are the more specific, single-issue parties, like the Animalists, who defend animal rights and whose list won a surprising 2.16 percent of the vote in 2019.

The president of the Union of French Muslim democrats, Nagib Azergui, is heading a Free Palestine list.

One list is focused on the defence of children, another on the use of Esperanto, and the Pirate party, which ran in 2014 and 2019, is pushing for free expression online.

The Interior Ministry drew lots for the order of lists on electoral panels, and the coveted first spot will be reserved for Pour une humanité souveraine (For a sovereign humanity), a list headed by the Guadeloupean environmentalist Léopold-Edouard Deher-Lesaint, calling for “political”, “monetary” and “energy sovereignty” and the “immediate, unconditional withdrawal of foreign occupying armies”.

(with newswires)