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Monday Briefing: Macron Calls New French Legislative Elections

President Emmanuel Macron of France, dealt a crushing defeat by the extreme right in European elections, dissolved the lower house of Parliament yesterday. He called for legislative elections beginning on June 30.

Macron’s decision was a measure of the devastating nature of the European Parliament election results. His centrist party was poised to finish with about half the support of Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally, which is set to become the leading French party.

“The rise of nationalists and demagogues is a danger for our nation and for Europe,” Macron said. “After this day I cannot go on as though nothing has happened.”

Early projections for the European Parliament elections, held by 27 countries in the E.U., appeared to show strong gains for several far-right parties. If confirmed, the results would amount to a powerful gauge of voter dissatisfaction and a stinging rebuke for the political mainstream. Here are live results.

“The move was not widely expected, and its fallout still unclear, so it’s a little hard to say definitively why Macron decided to make this move now,” my colleague Aurelien Breeden, who covers France, told me. “But his domestic agenda has been hobbled by a weak majority in the lower house of Parliament for the past two years, and the strong far-right showing appears to have convinced him that he could no longer proceed with business as usual.”