france macron snap election
© Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty ImagesEmmanuel Macron said on Monday, June 24, 2024, the far-left France Unbowed and Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally both pursued divisive policies that stoked tensions between communities. |
The French president is trying to whip up support for his battered centrists.

French President Emmanuel Macron warned Monday that a victory for the far left or the far right in this month's snap election could spark "civil war."

Macron said the far-left France Unbowed and Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally both pursued divisive policies that stoked tensions between communities.

The far right's answer to insecurity "reduces people to their religion or their origin" and therefore "pushes people towards civil war," he said in an interview Monday with the podcast Generation Do It Yourself.

Jean-Luc Melenchon
© Twitter / Fabien RivesJean-Luc Melenchon
The far left, led by the firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon, encourages a form of division for electioneering purposes "that also [promotes] civil war because it reduces people to their religious or ethnic group," Macron went on. He was referring to accusations that France Unbowed positions itself to attract Muslim voters through its critical position on Israel's war in Gaza.

The French president triggered uproar when he called a snap election on June 9 after his coalition was trounced by the far right National Rally in the European election. The French are now preparing to vote in a parliamentary election that could send a record number of far-right members of parliament to the National Assembly.
Marine Le Pen's National Rally snap election
© Sky NewsExit polls on June 10, 2024, showed that Marine Le Pen's National Rally is expected to get more than double the votes of President Macron's party

Recent polls suggest the National Rally would win 35 percent in the first round on Sunday, ahead of a left wing alliance, which includes the France Unbowed party on 27 percent and Macron's centrists on 19 percent.

In the past days, the French president's allies have warned of the risks France faces if voters turn to the far right or the far left, in particular the risk of economic turmoil.

On Monday the president went a step further in warning what he called the "extremes" increase "conflict and civil war."

"When you are fed up, and daily life is hard, you can be tempted to vote for the extremes that have quicker solutions. But the solution will never be to reject others," he said.