Macron’s alliance likely to lose parliamentary majority as left-wing coalition emerges

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron’s alliance won the most seats in the final round of parliamentary elections on Sunday but lost its parliamentary majority, projections show.

The projections, which are based on partial results, show that Macron’s candidates would win between 200 and 250 seats, far less than the 289 needed to have a direct majority in the National Assembly, France’s most powerful parliamentary chamber.

The situation, which is unusual in France, is expected to make it difficult for Macron to maneuver politically if the projections are confirmed.

A new coalition, made up of the far left, the Socialists and the Greens, is expected to become the main opposition force with between 150 and 200 seats.

The far-right National Caucus is expected to post a big increase with potentially more than 80 seats, up from eight previously.

Polls are being held across the country to select the 577 members of the National Assembly, the most powerful branch of France’s Parliament.

French voters will go to the polls in the final round of key parliamentary elections that will show how much wiggle room President Emmanuel Macron's party will have to implement its ambitious domestic agenda.
French voters went to the polls in the final round of key parliamentary elections, including far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon.
AP Photo

The strong performance of the left-wing coalition, spearheaded by far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon’s coalition, is expected to make it more difficult for Macron to implement the agenda for which he was re-elected in May, including tax cuts and increased pensions. France’s retirement age from 62 to sixty-five.

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 center-left and Conservative party lawmakers, with the aim of preventing opposition lawmakers from being numerous enough to reject the proposed measures.

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

A similar situation occurred in 1988 under the socialist president François Mitterrand, who then had to seek the support of the communists or the centrists to pass laws.

A voter casts his ballot at a polling station in Paris, Sunday, June 19, 2022.
A voter casts his ballot at a polling station in Paris, Sunday, June 19, 2022.
AP Photo/Thomas Padilla

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

Audrey Paillet, 19, who cast her ballot in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, southeast of Paris, was saddened that so few people turned out.

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

Macron made a powerfully choreographed plea to voters earlier this week from the runway ahead of a trip to Romania and Ukraine, warning that an inconclusive election, or hung parliament, would put the nation in peril.

“In these difficult times, the choice you will make this Sunday is more crucial than ever,” he said Tuesday, with the presidential plane waiting in the background before a visit to French troops stationed near Ukraine. “Nothing would be worse than adding French disorder to world disorder,” he said.

immanuel macron
The Macron government will have to negotiate with lawmakers from the extreme left and right to achieve its goals.
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Some voters agreed and argued against choosing candidates at the political extremes who have been gaining popularity. Others argued that the French system, which grants sweeping powers to the president, should give the multifaceted parliament more say and operate with more checks on the presidential Elysee palace and its occupant.

“I am not afraid of having a National Assembly that is more divided between different parties. I expect a regime that is more parliamentary and less presidential, as you can have in other countries,” said Simon Nouis, an engineer who votes in the south of Paris.

“The disappointment was clear on the night of the first round for the leaders of the presidential party,” said Martín Quencez, a political analyst at The German Marshall Fund in the United States.

Macron’s failure to win a majority could have ramifications across Europe. Analysts predict that the French leader will have to spend the rest of his term focusing more on his domestic agenda than his foreign policy. It could spell the end of President Macron, the continental statesman.

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