France is holding the first round of an early parliamentary election on Sunday that could bring the country’s first far-right government since Nazi occupation during World War II.

The second round is on July 7, and the outcome of the vote remains highly uncertain.

Three major political blocs are competing: The far-right National Rally, President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance, and the New Popular Front coalition that includes center-left, greens and hard-left forces. The French system is complex and not proportionate to nationwide support for a party.

In the face of the far right’s crushing victory in the European Parliament election earlier this month, Macron called an early vote in France because he otherwise feared the results would lead to paralysis in the legislature.

National Rally president Jordan Bardella said that if he were to become prime minister, he would oppose sending French troops to Ukraine — a possibility Macron hasn’t ruled out. Bardella also said he would refuse French deliveries of long-range missiles and other weaponry capable of striking targets within Russia itself.


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Here’s the latest:

Voters across France have begun casting ballots in the first round of an early legislative election that could see far-right forces taking over the government — or no majority emerging at all.

Polling stations opened in mainland France at 8 a.m. Sunday (0600 GMT). The first polling projections are expected at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT), when the final polling stations close, and early official results later Sunday night.

The outcome of the two-round election could impact European financial markets, Western support for Ukraine and how France’s nuclear arsenal and global military force are managed.

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