Speaking to supporters Marine Le Pen said: “The French have placed the National Rally at the top of the European elections. I see the people's victory, who with pride and dignity have retaken power this evening.
“A widespread movement for an alternative is born.”
The far-right party leader said President Emmanuel Macron must deal with the consequences of the result, which exit polls suggested would see Le Pen's party pick up 24 percent of the vote compared to 22.5 percent for Macron's La Republique en Marche.
Le Pen, who lost out to Macron in a bitter presidential election in 2017, called for the head of state to dissolve the parliament and call new elections, a proposal that was immediately rejected by the government.
“It is up to the president of the Republic to draw conclusions, he who put his presidential credit on the line in this vote in making it a referendum on his policies and even his personality,” she added.
“He has no choice but to dissolve parliament, as a minimum and put in place a voting system that is finally more democratic and more representative of the real public opinion in the country,” she said.
J'y vois #LaVictoireDuPeuple qui, avec fierté et dignité, a repris ce soir le pouvoir.
Un grand mouvement pour l'alternance est né. » pic.twitter.com/i7tXnKLoMB
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) May 26, 2019
Marine Le Pen's French far-right National Rally called for the formation of a “powerful group” in the European parliament after exit polls indicated the party would top the election in France.
“The gains for our allies in Europe and the emergence of new forces across the continent… open the way for the formation of a powerful group in the European parliament,” the lead campaigner for National Rally, Jordan Bardella, told supporters.