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The Macron alliance should lose its parliamentary majority

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance is set to lose its majority despite securing the most seats in the final round of legislative elections on Sunday, while the far-right National Rally appears to have made big gains.

Projections, which are based on partial results, indicate that Macron’s candidates would win between 230 and 250 seats – far fewer than the 289 required to have an outright majority in the National Assembly, France’s most powerful chamber of parliament. .

The situation, which is very unusual in France, should make Macron’s political maneuver difficult if the projections are confirmed.

A new coalition – made up of the far left, socialists and greens – is expected to become the main opposition force with around 140 to 160 seats.

The National Rally is expected to register a huge increase with potentially more than 80 seats, compared to eight previously. A ballot was held across the country to select the 577 members of the National Assembly.

The strong performance of the National Rally and the left-wing coalition called Nupes, led by far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, should make it more difficult for Macron to implement the agenda on which he was re-elected in May, including tax cuts and increase. Retirement age in France from 62 to 65 years old.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the “unprecedented” situation “poses a risk for our country facing challenges both nationally and internationally”.

“As the central force of this new Assembly (…), we will work, from tomorrow, on building a majority focused on action,” she said.

“There is no alternative but to come together to guarantee our country a certain stability and carry out the necessary reforms,” she added.

Borne, who herself won a seat in western France, suggested that Macron’s centrist alliance would seek the support of lawmakers from various political forces to find “good compromises”.

National Rally leader Marine Le Pen, who lost to Macron in the presidential election, has been re-elected as an MP in her stronghold of Hénin-Beaumont in northern France.

“The Macron adventure is coming to an end,” said Le Pen. The group of National Rally legislators “will be by far the largest in the history of our political family”.

The acting president of the National Rally, Jordan Bardella, compared his party’s performance to a “tsunami”. “The message tonight is that the French people have made Emmanuel Macron a minority president,” he told TF1 television.

“It’s the electoral failure of ‘Macronie’,” Mélenchon said, criticizing “a moral failure of those people who lectured everyone all the time and said they would block the far right, and the main result is that they made it stronger”.

The Macron government will still have the ability to govern, but only by negotiating with lawmakers. The centrists could try to negotiate on a case-by-case basis with elected center-left and conservative party members — with the aim of preventing opposition politicians from being numerous enough to reject the proposed measures.

The government could also occasionally use a special measure provided for by the French Constitution to pass a law without a vote.

Government spokeswoman Olivia Grégoire told France 2 that “we’ve had better evenings”.

“It’s a disappointing top position, but still a top position,” she said.

“We are reaching out to everyone who agrees to move this country forward,” she said, referring in particular to the Les Républicains party, which is expected to have fewer seats than the far right.

A similar situation occurred in 1988 under Socialist President François Mitterrand, who then had to seek Communist or centrist support to pass laws.

These parliamentary elections have once again been largely defined by voter apathy – with more than half of voters staying home.

Audrey Paillet, 19, who voted in Boussy-Saint-Antoine in south-east Paris, was saddened that so few people turned out.

“Some people fought to vote. It’s a shame that most young people don’t do that,” she said.

Macron had delivered a powerfully choreographed appeal to voters earlier this week from the tarmac ahead of a trip to Romania and Ukraine, warning that an inconclusive election, or a hung parliament, would put the nation at risk.

“In these troubled times, the choice you make this Sunday is more crucial than ever,” he said on Tuesday, as the presidential plane waited in the background for a visit to French troops stationed near Ukraine. . “Nothing would be worse than adding French disorder to global disorder,” he said.

Some voters accepted and opposed the choice of candidates for the political extremes who are gaining popularity. Others have argued that the French system, which grants broad power to the president, should give more voice to the multi-faceted parliament and operate with more checks on the presidential Elysee palace and its occupant.

“I’m not afraid of having a more fragmented National Assembly between different parties. I hope for a more parliamentary and less presidential regime, as you can have in other countries,” said Simon Nouis, a voting engineer in southern Paris.

At Nupes headquarters in Paris on Sunday evening, Pierre Migozzi, a left-wing supporter, said the results show French politics have been revived.

“There is a divide between people who want to guarantee the established order (Macron), people against liberal policies who want a new world focused on young people (Nupes), and people who recognize themselves in the motto of the Rassemblement national to be the people’s party,” he said.

The 26-year-old, who grew up in central France, expressed concern about far-right results, saying the National Rally ‘is not an answer’ to the problems of the suburbs and suburbs. French rural areas.

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Jade Le Deley, Masha Macpherson and Jeffrey Schaeffer contributed to this report.

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Post expires at 12:13am on Friday July 1st, 2022