Ryan James Girdusky, an expert on right-wing populism, commented on Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party’s victory in the first round of the French parliamentary elections.

The author of the National Populist Newsletter said the first round of the election, which occurred on June 30, was “fundamentally the end of [Emmanuel] Macron’s presidency.” Macron’s party, Renaissance, once a majority in the French parliament, has dwindled to a distant third-place contender, receiving just 20% of the vote in the first round of the French election.

Meanwhile, his arch-rival Marine Le Pen’s National Rally surged to 33% after an unusually high turnout, with the left-wing New Popular Front coalition coming in second with 28%, CNN reported.

Voters were driven to the polls and toward Le Pen largely because of immigration, Girdusky, who authored the 2020 bestseller They’re Not Listening: How The Elites Created the National Populist Revolution, said. Specifically, French voters were concerned about the Islamization of France through mass immigration, the failure to stop wokeism, and the raising of the retirement age from 60 to 62, Girdusky said.

Given Le Pen’s party’s smashing success during the European Parliament elections in June, where the National Rally was similarly decisively victorious, The Dallas Express asked Girdusky what possessed Macron to call this election.

Girdusky said there are three competing theories.

The first theory is that Macron thought there would be a “general rally for his party,” where the European Parliament results would spur his pro-EU base to the polls to fend off gains made by euroskeptical parties.

The second theory was that Macron believed if Le Pen got the majority it would “collapse the economy” and thus nuke her presidential chances when she seeks the highest office for the fourth time in 2027.

“The last idea … was that it would splinter the vote and make both the far left and far right come out [looking] preposterous and allow centrist candidates to run. But everything went wrong,” Girdusky said, noting that there was not sufficient conflict between the various wings of French politics to produce this outcome.

Irrespective of whatever drove the French president to call this election, Girdusky noted Renaissance suffered the same issues as the socialists. They were perceived as the party of the wealthy elite while everyone else was left behind. “The very, very wealthy … went for the far-left … [while] the upper middle class went for Macron,” he said after noting that nearly every other major voting bloc supported Le Pen. In some cases, Le Pen’s party was so successful it captured a seat held by the communist party’s president in a communist stronghold and received the coveted endorsement of one of the last famed Nazi hunters.

On Sunday, French voters will cast ballots in an unprecedented race. The French have a unique electoral system that almost always requires two rounds of voting to determine a winner for each seat in their 577-seat parliament. If a candidate does not receive 50% of the vote in the first round, the constituency must have a second round featuring the two to four top-performing candidates.

Usually, only two candidates advance. However, Girdusky said that this next race would likely break every record. “In a normal election year, there are very few three-way races. The most ever was in the early 90s and there were 105 … in this election … there are going to be 300 plus.”

Should National Rally win a majority of parliamentary seats, Jordan Bardella, a protegé of Le Pen, will become prime minister. This will deprive Macron of the majority he needs to pass his priority legislation for the remainder of his term which expires in May 2027.

Girdusky said this could mean major immigration reforms and a more assertive position against the EU, amongst other things.

However, this is not a guarantee. “First-round results, [historically] do not guarantee second-round success,” Girdusky recalled before pointing out past examples where the various left-wing parties have coordinated to damage National Rally’s electoral prospects. At times, this has included parties like the socialists withdrawing from races so there could be a united left-wing front against Le Pen’s allies.

Will that happen in this election?

“A number of exit polls have shown that if it was a choice between the far-left and Le Pen, which will be the case in most of these elections, voters overwhelmingly want the National Rally,” Girdusky said.

Girdusky predicts National Rally will not get the simple majority needed to take complete control of parliament, but they will win “250-260 seats.” In a scenario like this, Girdusky said the situation would be such “utter chaos” that it could lead to Macron’s resignation.

If Le Pen has another successful turnout, DX asked Girdusky if this would be a bellwether for the United States and Europe. Girdusky said it would be another wave in the West’s quickly changing political tide that signals citizens are demanding change in immigration policy. In his view, it would be a major shockwave to the European political establishment.

He also mentioned his belief that Donald Trump will be the likely victor in the American general election in November because of a similar political current stateside.

He closed on these words, “Center-right parties from the Republicans on to every party in Europe have the decision to make … [are they] so in love with neoliberalism that they do not care about the rise of the far-right, or are they more concerned with preserving liberal institutions so they’re going to meet the far-right voters in the middle and say, ‘We are going to take on the issue of immigration,’ which is probably the biggest issue of our time.”

Girdusky’s full interview can be found on the Cowtown Caller podcast.

Marine Le Pen is the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, a presidential candidate from the 2002 election, who has been repeatedly fined for Holocaust denial. Marine has distinguished herself from her father by expelling him and others from the party, moderating some views, and bringing her brand of national populism to new audiences, including minorities and gays.

Unlike Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron does not come from a political dynasty. He briefly held a deputy secretary-general role in former President Francois Hollande’s administration and was economics minister for former Prime Minister Manuel Valls before leading the centrist coalition party Renaissance, then called En Marche, to victory in 2017.

So far, he and Le Pen have faced off in two elections. In 2017, Macron won 66%, compared to Le Pen’s 34%. By 2022, that margin had thinned to 58% to 41%. Macron is term-limited and cannot run for another term.

Should Macron’s presidency end for any reason, another election would be called before the prescribed conclusion of his term.