Leader of the French National Front Marine Le Pen, left, and Far-right top candidate of the National Rally party Jordan Bardella attend a press conference before a rally with right-wing EU leaders in Milan, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

France's Le Pen predicts historic vote for populist parties

May 18, 2019 - 2:20 am

MILAN (AP) — The leader of France's far-right National Rally is predicting that a group of like-minded right-wing populists will achieve "an historic feat" in next week's Europe-wide elections.

Marine Le Pen is joining leaders of other nationalist parties Saturday in Italy for a rally organized by League leader Matteo Salvini in front of Milan's Duomo cathedral ahead of the May 23-26 European Parliamentary elections.

Le Pen said she believes the Europe of Nations and Freedom parliamentary group "will perform a historic feat to pass from the 8th place in Europe to third or maybe second."

Analysts believe that the two traditional center-right and center-left political groups will be weakened in the vote, falling short of the 50% threshold for the first time.