Publisher | Macron’s bitter victory

The loss of a hundred seats in the personalist presidential coalition grouped around Emmanuel Macron he has evaporated the absolute majority he enjoyed during his first term. Without a formation implanted in the territory and the presidential figure shaken due to his manifest inability to go beyond the centrist vote and to continue appearing to the voters who brought him to office for the first time as a reliable reformist, the French president has seen how its left and right advanced spectacularly the Nupes, the conglomerate articulated by Jean-Luc Mélenchonand the extreme right of Marine LePen, which for the first time will have its own group in the National Assembly. Unlike the previous legislature, Macron will face a growing leftist opposition and an ultra opposition with its own voice, without the capacity to condition legislative tasks but to use the Chamber as a powerful loudspeaker for his populist, anti-European and xenophobic proclamations. Macron’s tactical reluctance to demand the vote against Lepenist candidates without exception has contributed in part to this result.

The formation of a stable presidential majority through recourse to an alliance with the Union of the Right and the Center is for the moment a possibility canceled by the refusal of such an operation by the last heirs of Gaullism and minions. So the near-term future looks set to be dominated by instability and difficult governance. In an electoral system designed to give the head of state a stable parliamentary majority, the fact that Macron was the first president after the 2002 electoral reform to fail to achieve an absolute majority can only be considered a failure.

Not only an abstention rate above 50% explains the bad result of the president and the rebirth of the left hand in hand with Mélenchon. They also count the manifest detachment of a growing part of the popular classes that, when he goes to the polls, he casts a punishing vote or simply chooses to give credit to the assurances promised by the extreme right and, likewise, the ability to mobilize the young vote demonstrated by Nupes. Although the durability of the alliance, put together in a hurry after the presidential election in April, and how it will focus its opposition to the Government is unknown.

In fact, only Marine Le Pen has achieved a result well above expectations. Mélenchon has been far from the figures that could allow him to occupy the position of prime minister. The remains of Gaullism have barely saved the furniture and have been overcome by the result of the National Regrouping (RN). Thus, the progression of the extreme right in each electoral modality remains unchanged, and the risk is growing that the next five years will be the time necessary for one of their candidates to reach the Elysée.

Emsemble’s bitter victory! will force Emmanuel Macron to submit to complex negotiations any parliamentary initiative, with the aggravating circumstance that the political moment, due to the war in Ukraine, calls for stability and diligence. Two tools that he will only have if he discovers a capacity for agreement and the exercises of flexibility and empathy that have not characterized him until now.

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