Legislature in France: Macron and the united left are neck and neck

Whether or not Emmanuel Macron, who was re-elected on April 24 for a second five-year term, can retain his absolute majority and beyond, we will have to wait for next Sunday’s second ballot to demonstrate his ability to freely apply his reform policies.

His coalition Together! would collect between 275 and 310 seats according to an IFOP fiducial extrapolation and 255 to 295 seats according to Ipsos, while the absolute majority stands at 289.

According to these estimates, the Macron camp and the left-wing alliance NUPES, the tribune of the radical left Jean-Luc Mélenchon, each received around 25% of the votes.

A voter collects his or her ballot at a polling station in Strasbourg during the first round of the general elections.

Photo: Associated Press / Jean-Francois Badias

However, more than one in two voters (between 52 and 53 percent, it is estimated) avoided the ballot box on Sunday, a new record that underscores French disinterest in an election now overshadowed by the presidential election.

The National Rally (RN), a far-right party led by Marine Le Pen, a finalist in the April 24 presidential election, ranks third with just under 20% of the vote, well ahead of the traditional right, which is losing its position should status of the first opposition group.

The party could manage to surpass 20 MPs, a first since 1986 for the extreme right, which would allow it to form a faction.

French President Emmanuel Macron casts his ballot during the first round of general elections at Le Touquet-Paris-Plage.

Photo: Reuters

These general elections thus confirm the major reconfiguration of the French political landscape that began with the election of Mr Macron in 2017.

A majority not absolute but relative to the assembly would complicate the path of the reforms that President Macron wants to embark on, particularly with regard to pensions.

Mr Macron mobilized at the end of the campaign, urging the French to give him one strong and clear majority.

He stood as a bulwark against them extremesand is thus directed against Mr Mélenchon’s radical left and Marine Le Pen’s extreme right, which he believes is synonymous with Disturbance for France.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon after voting in Marseille, southern France

Photo: Associated Press/Daniel Cole

The executive branch has also been adamant in recent weeks that it intends to vote on a series of purchasing power measures in July to stem the inflation that is affecting household budgets and weighing on business accounts.

In the unlikely event that the Jean-Luc Mélenchon-led left wins an outright majority, which would impose an unprecedented coexistence on a newly re-elected president, he would be stripped of almost all powers in domestic politics.

Mr. Mélenchon, a veteran of French political life, has established himself as his main opponent by taking the lead in an unprecedented alliance bringing together socialists, communists, environmentalists and his own movement (La France insoumise).

According to commentators, he led the most active campaign to make this choice third round of the President.

A man and a girl walk past election posters for the general election in Bayonne.

Photo: Associated Press/Bob Edme

The left is proposing an economic program that would inject €250 billion (versus €267 billion in revenue) into the economy, including €125 billion in aid, subsidies and redistribution.

The election comes in a climate of concern among the French amid rising food and energy prices.

The final result of a week’s general election could affect the composition of the executive formed on May 20, whose 15 members, including Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, are running. However, they must resign in the event of defeat under an unwritten rule, but one that was used by Emmanuel Macron back in 2017.

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