French authorities have reported more than 50 physical assaults on candidates and campaigners during the current campaign period, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced on Friday.

This surge in political violence has raised concerns as France approaches its crucial parliamentary elections.

“This campaign is short, less than three weeks. However, we have counted 51 candidates, deputies, or campaigners who have been physically assaulted. I am not counting verbal aggressions here,” Darmanin told CNN affiliate BFMTV.

These incidents have varied in severity, with some candidates requiring hospitalization due to their injuries. Approximately thirty individuals have been detained for questioning in connection with these attacks, Darmanin added.

In response to heightened tensions leading up to the elections, an additional 30,000 police officers have been deployed to maintain order and prevent disruptions by far-left or far-right groups. Politicians have warned that a far-right victory could trigger widespread protests. French President Emmanuel Macron has even suggested that a significant win by the extreme left or right could lead to “civil war.”

French government spokesperson Prisca Thevenot and her team were attacked while canvassing on Wednesday night. National Rally (RN) politician Marie Dauchy, running in Savoie, suspended her campaign after being physically assaulted at a market. In Cherbourg, center-right candidate Nicolas Conquer from The Republicans party filed a complaint after alleging he was assaulted by left-wing campaigners on Monday.

The interior minister also highlighted the persistent terror threat in France, noting recent arrests in two separate incidents that may be classified as terrorist acts by the national anti-terrorist prosecutor.

Marine Le Pen’s RN party led the first round of the parliamentary elections last Sunday, securing 33.15% of the vote. The left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) coalition followed with 27.99%, and Macron’s Ensemble alliance came third with 20.76%, according to final results from the Interior Ministry. While RN is poised to win the most seats in the National Assembly, it may not achieve the 289 seats needed for an absolute majority, potentially leading to a hung parliament and further political uncertainty. Photo by UK Home Office, Wikimedia commons.