France’s Macron loses absolute majority in legislative elections


Left parties coalition, far-right score big.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s Ensemble alliance on Sunday suffered a huge setback as his political coalition failed to secure an absolute majority in the legislative elections, putting the presidential majority at the risk of forging alliances with other parties.

Multiple exit polls of the second round results projected Macron’s Ensemble (Together) alliance in the lead but way below the golden mark of 289 seats, necessary to form the parliamentary majority.

According to polling firm Elabe estimates for BFMTV and L’Express news, Macron’s camp will win between 205 and 235 seats in the National Assembly while France 24 news has projected 224 seats.

This is the first time since 1998 when former President Francois Mitterrand found himself in a similar situation, winning lesser seats in the legislative elections.

The results are “far from what we hoped for,” former government spokesperson and Minister of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal summed up, according to a BFMTV news report.

The low numbers put Macron in a tight spot as he will now have to assemble a majority by forming an alliance with other parties, to maintain a parliamentary majority that will be crucial to continuing his government’s second-term agenda.

Polls suggested most voters wanted a left-wing prime minister and the government to uphold a left-leaning agenda.

The main challenger to Macron’s coalition, the newly formed left-wing political coalition, NUPES (New Ecological and Social Popular Union) led by Jean-Luc Melenchon, is estimated to win between 149 and 190 seats.

Melenchon who came in the third position during the presidential finals helmed the “totally unexpected situation,” saying: “We have achieved our political objective … to bring down the one with arrogance who had twisted the arm of the whole country,” the BFMTV news reported.

The surprise wildcard winner of these results is far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s National Rally which is expected to win anywhere between 75 to 95 seats, a huge win from the current eight seats in the national assembly.

She welcomed the historic result of her party’s candidates forming the largest group of lawmakers in the parliament, ever since the party’s inception in the 1970s, the report said.

The socialist party Les Republicains, which performed poorly in the recently concluded presidential elections, is likely to win around 60-70 seats.


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