Emmanuel Macron says he is out to win French snap election | France

Emmanuel Macron has said he is “out to win” the snap legislative election he called after his allies’ crushing defeat to Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) in the European elections.

In his first interview since Sunday’s vote, he denied accusations that his decision to dissolve parliament was madness that could hand major political power to the far right and in effect neuter his ability to make domestic policy with three years of his term in office still to run.

“Not at all. I’m only thinking of France. It was a good decision and in the country’s interest. I say to the French: don’t be afraid, go and vote,” he told Le Figaro in an interview conducted on his return to Paris from commemorations of the 1944 Oradour-sur-Glane massacre, when a Nazi SS division killed 642 villagers.

“This is the spirit of our institutions: I have listened to the French people. Now is the time for clarification. Dissolution is the clearest, most radical and strongest gesture. A gesture of great confidence in the French people.”

The RN won about 32% of the vote on Sunday, more than double the 15% or so scored by the president’s allies, according to exit polls. The Socialist party, on 14%, came within a whisker of the Macron group.

Macron told Le Figaro he did not think the far right could repeat its European success in a domestic election.

“Politics is a dynamic. I’ve never believed in opinion polls. The decision I’ve taken opens up a new era. A new campaign is beginning and we mustn’t look at the scores per constituency by the yardstick of those at the European elections,” he said.

“The president must commit himself, it’s his correct place: the future of the republic, the institutions, the country and Europe are at stake.”

He said his position as president was not threatened, despite suggestions that the RN would call for his resignation if it wins the general election.

“It’s not the RN that writes the constitution, or the spirit of it. The institutions are clear, and so is the president’s place, whatever the result,” Macron said.

EU elections fallout: a shock snap vote, resignations and the far right – video report

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