Macron asks backing from all 'able to say no to extremes' in snap vote

French President Emmanuel Macron called Wednesday for backing from people "able to say no to extremes" in snap elections he called after a European poll battering.

"I hope that when the time comes, men and women of goodwill who will have been able to say no to the extremes will come together... will put themselves in a position to build a shared, sincere project that is useful to the country," Macron told a Paris press conference.

The president's Renaissance outfit and allies won less than half the 31-percent result of the far-right National Rally (RN) of Marine Le Pen at Sunday's European vote.

It prompted him to trigger surprise snap elections for June 30 and July 7 after two years limping along with a minority government.

"The answer, in my eyes, could not come through changing the government or a coalition... dissolving parliament was necessary," Macron said.

He acknowledged voters' "difficulty getting by even when they're working, very everyday difficulties" that had created "anger, sometimes resentment".

People "feel that they aren't listened to or respected... We can't remain indifferent to all these messages," he added.

But he also lashed out at conservatives, whose leader Eric Ciotti on Tuesday announced an alliance with the RN, as well as a left-wing alliance including the hard-left France Unbowed (LFI).

The right had "in a few hours turned its back on the legacy of General (Charles) de Gaulle" as well as former presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, he said.

Meanwhile mainstream left parties had allied with an LFI he accused of "anti-Semitism" over its response to Palestinian militant group Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel and the war in Gaza.

Voters had a choice between ...

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