President Emmanuel Macron lost his absolute majority in the National Assembly after the second round of general elections in France, an election that is estimated to have been marked by a very strong breakthrough by the far right.
• Also read: In France, Macron plays his majority in the last legislative round
• Also read: Germany, France and Italy are ready to give Ukraine EU candidate status
If these results are confirmed, it will be a major setback for the French president, who will have to find alliances over the next five years in order to implement his reform program.
According to the first projections of the opinion research institutes, the coalition of the presidential ensemble would receive between 200 and 260 seats. Either far from the absolute majority of 289 deputies (out of 577) in the National Assembly.
For its part, the left-wing alliance Nupes, led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has between 150 and 200 MPs and, according to these projections, will become the first opposition group in the assembly.
Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rallye (RN) party won between 60 and 100 MPs, according to the same sources, in a notable breakthrough.
Not surprisingly, this election, the fourth in two months since the presidential election, was avoided by the French while part of the country suffered from an unprecedented heatwave. According to polling institutes, the abstention rate is expected to be between 53.5% and 54%, an increase of more than a point from the first round (52.49%). However, he will not reach the record of the second round of 2017 (57.36%).
The exact distribution of the 577 seats in the National Assembly will only be known later in the night.
For the united left – a first in decades – Sunday night’s results mean it becomes the main opposition bloc in the assembly, a role hitherto occupied by the right.
This election completes a long electoral cycle that will have confirmed a major political reshuffle in France around three blocs to the detriment of the traditional parties of right and left, a reshuffle that began with the election of Mr Macron in 2017.
The French will have voted no less than four times in total in two years, in the context of successive crises, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the war in Ukraine, including rising inflation and threats to the economy.
On the home straight, Emmanuel Macron had dramatized the issue, saying that the conflict in Ukraine is affecting the daily lives of French people and insisting on the “need for a truly European France that can speak with a clear and distinct voice.”
He had also brandished the scarecrow of the “extremes” whose victory he said would sow “disorder” in France, and accused them of wanting to leave the European Union (EU).
But the French didn’t see it that way.
For Marine Le Pen, already a finalist in the presidential elections, it is an undeniable success: her party is making progress and well beyond the threshold of 15 deputies to form a parliamentary group in the National Assembly for the second time in the party’s history, after 1986 .
As for the classic right, with about sixty deputies, it saves the furniture and should find itself in the position of arbiter in the future Assembly.
The day had started badly for the presidential majority when, in Guadeloupe, Secretary of State for the Sea Justine Benin was beaten by the left-wing candidate.
According to an unwritten rule, but already applied in 2017 by Emmanuel Macron, Mme As soon as it is mentioned, Benin will have to leave the government.
This could also apply to several other ministers, including Clément Beaune (Europe), Amélie de Montchalin (Ecological Transition) or Stanislas Guerini (Public Service), leader of the Presidential Party, who engaged in close duels with the left in the Parisian. In contrast, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne won her duel in Normandy.