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Why has French President Emmanuel Macron announced snap elections after EU Parliament poll defeat?

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday evening that he would dissolve the national assembly after the far-right National Rally crushed his centrist Renew party in European elections.

In a five-minute video address released on social media shortly after 21:00 CET, Macron said that "after having carried out the consultations provided for in Article 12 of our Constitution, I have decided to give you back the choice of our parliamentary future by voting."

"I am therefore dissolving the National Assembly this evening," he added.

His address came just one hour after his centrist Renew party was handed a heavy blow by coming in a very distant second in the European elections to the RN, where both parties scored 15.2% and 31.5% respectively.

Jordan Bardella, the RN's lead candidate for these elections, had in his victory speech delivered shortly after the provisional results came out at 20:00 CET, called for such a move.

"The President of the Republic cannot remain deaf to the message sent this evening by the French people. First of all, he must abandon the agenda he was preparing to implement: de-indexation of retirement pensions, the new rise in energy prices from this summer," Bardella told supporters.

"We solemnly ask him to take note of this new political situation, come back to the French people and organise new legislative elections."

"This unprecedented defeat for the current government marks the end of a cycle and day one of the post-Macron era, which it is up to us to build," he added.

Macron retorted in his address that "the rise of the nationalists and demagogues is a threat not only to our nation but also to our Europe and to France's place in Europe and in the world".

"The extreme right is both the