The far-right National Rally (RN) party, led by Marine Le Pen, achieved significant gains in the first round of France's parliamentary elections, marking a historic victory. However, the ultimate result hinges on the strategic alliances formed in the coming days leading up to the second round of voting next week. According to official results from the interior ministry on Monday, the RN and its allies secured 33% of the votes, followed by a leftwing bloc with 28%, and President Emmanuel Macron's centrists with only 20%. This represents a substantial setback for Macron, who called for early elections after his party was defeated by the RN in the recent European Parliament elections. The success of the anti-immigrant, eurosceptic RN in forming a government will be determined by the outcome of the decisive second round and the effectiveness of other parties in preventing Le Pen's rise by supporting the strongest opposing candidates across various constituencies in France. Leaders from both the leftwing New Popular Front and Macron's centrist alliance have indicated their willingness to withdraw their candidates in areas where another contender stands a better chance against the RN in the upcoming runoff. The RN, once ostracized by many in France, is now closer to power than ever before. Le Pen has worked to improve the party's image, which was previously associated with racism and antisemitism, a strategy that has resonated with voters due to dissatisfaction with Macron, rising living costs, and increasing concerns about immigration. A government led by the RN could significantly impact the direction of the European Union, given its opposition to deeper EU integration. Additionally, questions have been raised about the financial viability of its proposed spending plans. The euro reached a two-week high in Asian trading on Monday, reflecting market relief that the RN did not perform even better. "I think it's a slight 'well, there were no surprises', so there was a sense of relief there," noted Fiona Cincotta, senior markets analyst at City Index. RN lawmakers are urging members of the centre-right Republicans (LR) party, which received less than 7% in the first-round vote, to withdraw from districts where doing so would benefit the RN. "If they know they're not going to win, I'm calling on them to stand down and let the national side win," stated RN lawmaker Laure Lavalette on RTL radio. The Republicans party, which experienced a split before the vote with a few of its lawmakers joining the RN, has not yet revealed its position. All candidates who advanced to the first round must confirm by Tuesday evening whether they will participate in the second round.