General elections in France | Emmanuel Macron received only 21,442 votes more than the Left Alliance

(Paris) The Macron camp, nearly equal in the first round of general elections, must battle the united left to retain an outright majority after a first round marked by record abstention.

Posted at 7:27
Updated at 7:58 p.m

Jeremy MAROT
Media Agency France

Barely two months after Emmanuel Macron’s re-election, the outgoing majority appears under the Ensemble label! received 25.75% of the vote, or 21,442 more votes than the Nupes (LFI, PCF, PS and EELV) behind Jean-Luc Mélenchon (25.66%) out of 23.3 million voters.

Both sides have a week to defend themselves against the abstention and disinterest of the French, who set a new record of 52.49%, surpassing that of 2017 (51.3%).

However, according to the polling institutes, the Macron camp retains the advantage in the projections of the 577 MP seats with a range of 255 to 295 seats ahead of the nupes (150 to 210).

Together ! hopes to retain an absolute majority of 289 MPs, which would allow him not to have to deal with other political groups to pass executive texts, starting with the emblematic pension reform, which he says is set to come into force in a year Promise from Mr. Macron.

But how far will the agreement go for the outgoing majority if LREM and Modem won more than 32% in the first round in 2017 before receiving almost 350 MPs in the second round.


PHOTO LUDOVIC MARIN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

President Emmanuel Macron cast his vote in Le Touquet in northern France.

“We are the only political force that can achieve a strong and clear majority,” said Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

“The majority is anything but safe […] It is a very serious warning addressed to Emmanuel Macron,” estimated Brice Teinturier, deputy general manager of Ipsos France.

Mélenchon calls for a boost

Symbol of the troubles of the Macaronia, two ex-ministers, Jean-Michel Blanquer and Emmanuelle Wargon, were eliminated in the first round. The Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, Amélie de Montchalin, is in an unfavorable vote in her Essonne constituency, as is Europe Minister Clément Beaune in Paris.


PHOTO DANIEL COLE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

The leader of the left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, voted in Marseille.

Elisabeth Borne is better in Calvados with 34.32% ahead of Nupes (24.53%).

In the event of a defeat for any of the fifteen ministers involved, resignation will be inevitable, according to an unwritten rule, but one that was applied by Mr Macron back in 2017.

“The truth is that the President’s party is beaten and defeated,” began the rebellious Jean-Luc Mélenchon, calling on the “people” to flock to the voting booths “next Sunday”.

The challenge is to find the voting reserves sufficient to send the rebel leader to Matignon, as he wishes, and try to impose a cohabitation government on Mr Macron, as the pluralist left did with Lionel Jospin in 1997.

In any case, while Mr Mélenchon had urged the French to make these elections a “third round” of the presidential election, the left was to be the main opposition bloc in the Palais-Bourbon. A form of victory, fruit of the torn unity agreement.

LREM said there would be no national guidance, but “on a case-by-case basis” in the constituencies facing RN and Nupes candidates, ruling that certain United Left candidates were “extreme”. A choice that ecologist Yannick Jadot calls “scandalous”.

“A democratic scandal,” accused SOS Racism President Dominique Sopo, who stressed that the extreme right was “the camp of racism and rejection of equality and democracy.”

In light of the beginning of the controversy, Elisabeth Borne tweeted in the evening: “Faced with the extreme right, we will always support candidates who respect republican values”, in response to a request for clarification from Fabien Roussel. “Our line: never give the extreme right a voice,” she clarified.


PHOTO VALERY HACHE, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Eric Zemmour

The third RN, Zemmour, was eliminated

As expected, the National Rally candidates (18.68%) failed to capitalize on the momentum of Marine Le Pen, who won more than 40% of the vote in the second round of the presidential election. Limited to eight elected MPs in 2017, the contingent of RN MPs is likely to be significantly larger this time and still count M in their ranksme Le Pen, well ahead in his Pas-de-Calais constituency (53.96% but not elected for lack of voters).

From her stronghold of Hénin-Beaumont, she called on voters to “send a very large group of patriotic deputies to the new National Assembly”.

In the event of a duel between Together! and the Nupes, Mme Le Pen urged his supporters “not to vote”. “France is neither a trading area nor a ZAD,” she thundered.

Conversely, the LR (10.42%) is likely to lose its place as the leading opposition faction in the National Assembly after the heavy fall of its presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse.

Republicans will count their survivors among the hundred leaving, hoping to make the most of their local roots. But several personalities were already beaten on Sunday, such as Julien Aubert, Gilles Platret or Guillaume Larrivé.

For his part, Eric Zemmour, one of the leaders of the presidential election, missed his landing in politics. The far-right polemicist was eliminated in the Var, along with the other ambassadors of his Reconquest! party, Guillaume Peltier in the Loir-et-Cher and Stanislas Rigault in the Vaucluse.

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