In Paris, thousands of people celebrate the arrival of the left in the lead: News

“We won”: at Place de la République in Paris, thousands of people celebrated Sunday evening the surprise arrival of the New Popular Front in the legislative elections, a “relief” for this left-wing crowd even if the National Rally’s score is worrying for the future.

At exactly 8:00 p.m., increasingly loud cries of joy resound across Place de la République, where hundreds of people are already present, originally for a rally against the far right.

“It gives hope, I haven’t even voted, I’m not old enough yet,” says Jihane, 17, with a big smile on his face.

Then the crowd began to shout loudly, in unison and clapping their hands, “Siamo tutti antifascisti” (we are all antifascists).

“We thought we were going to be angry. And in the end we are very happy, so we shout our joy. We hug strangers,” marvels Fabio de la Fontaine, 21.

To everyone’s surprise, the alliance of left-wing parties came out on top according to initial estimates, ahead of Emmanuel Macron’s presidential camp and the National Rally in third place, with neither bloc obtaining an absolute majority.

On the Place de la République, where the atmosphere was initially very good-natured for several hours, the police were attacked during the evening and were subjected to mortars and projectiles, a police source told AFP.

According to the police prefecture, 8,000 people were present on Sunday evening. Gatherings also took place in Bordeaux and Lille.

– “Historic day” –

In Place de la République, Nicolas Notis holds a large French flag: “The real France is the one that fights fascism, the one that fights capitalism,” insists this 28-year-old engineer.

A huge fabric in the blue, white and red colours of the tricolour flag was hoisted over the statue of Marianne in the centre of the square, with these words: “France is a fabric of migrations”.

Doria Ducly Benglia, for her part, cried after the results were announced.

“We defeated fascism today, it’s a historic day,” says the 29-year-old. Today, she says she is happy for her aunt who has a residence permit, her mother who came from Algeria and her Italian father.

With the Ukrainian flag wrapped around her body, Antonina Gain is “extremely happy with the results”. “It’s a victory, for me and for Ukraine,” says the young Franco-Ukrainian.

“A majority of the RN would have been a catastrophe for the delivery of arms and support for Ukraine in general,” said this 24-year-old woman, assuring that the outcome of the French vote was being closely scrutinized in her country at war with Russia.

Yet, despite the smiles on the faces, the songs of victory and the relief of this large crowd, often young people, the joy remains contained among some, even “silent”.

A 61-year-old social worker, Yvan Grimaldi says he is “relieved but not totally satisfied, because we haven’t finished getting rid of the extreme right in France, we’ve stopped them a little but it’s not over.”

“We feel half relieved and half scared because it’s still a score that is still extremely historic,” said Elise Larcher, 19, from Seine-et-Marne, about the far-right party’s result.

“It’s really scary, because I feel like with every election, the RN gets stronger, every time, they manage to find a gap,” laments Valentine, 23.

Her friend Charlotte is betting on three years of “hellish fights” in reference to the lack of an absolute majority in the National Assembly.

“And it might not end well,” she says, referring to the RN coming to power in the 2027 presidential election, “potentially,” she fears.

“I think that as young people, we have this responsibility to always continue to fight,” concludes Valentine.

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