Bitter and insufficient triumph of Macron in the National Assembly

French President Emmanuel Macron. / afp

The big surprise of the night is the huge jump of National Regrouping (ex-Frente Nacional), Marine Le Pen’s far-right party, which will have a parliamentary group for the first time since 1986

Strong electoral setback for French President Emmanuel Macron. The macronista bloc would lose the absolute majority in the National Assembly, due to the strong push of the union of the left and the extreme right, according to the projections of the Ifop-Fiducial institute for the television networks TF1 and LCI and waiting to know the results officials of the French legislative elections.

Macron’s party and his allies, which was running in these elections under the label Ensemble (Together), would obtain between 210 and 250 seats, according to projections. Therefore, they would not be able to reach an absolute majority, for which they need to have at least 289 seats out of the 577 in the National Assembly.

For Macron, who was re-elected president on April 24 with 58.55% of the vote compared to 41.45% for the far-right Marine Le Pen, his second term is very complicated with a National Assembly in which the extremes will have a great weight.

The French prime minister passes her first political exam

The New Popular, Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) – the alliance for the legislative elections of La Francia Insumisa, the Socialist Party, the Communist Party and Europe Ecology-The Greens (EE-LV) – would achieve between 150 and 180 deputies, according to the projections.

The Nupes, an electoral alliance promoted by Jean-Luc Mélenchon a month ago so that the leftist parties could present themselves to the legislative elections together and have weight in the National Assembly, thus becomes the main opposition force.

Mélenchon, leader of La Francia Insumisa (the French Podemos), managed to convince the rest of the leftist parties to unite for the legislative elections, something that seemed impossible a few months ago. In 2017, the parties that make up this alliance presented themselves to the legislative elections separately.

Mélenchon dreamed that if Nupes obtained an absolute majority, Macron would be forced to appoint him prime minister and there would be a cohabitation government, the forced coexistence between a president and a prime minister of different political persuasions. This does not seem to happen, pending the official results.

The big surprise of the night is the huge leap from Regrouping National (ex-Frente Nacional), Marine Le Pen’s far-right party. It would go from the eight deputies it obtained in 2017 to having between 80 and 100 seats. And it would surpass the previous record of the National Front, which was directed by his father Jean-Marie Le Pen. The far-right party won 35 deputies in 1986, in the only legislative elections in which the proportional system was applied.

Le Pen’s surprise

National Regrouping would become the third party in number of seats in the National Assembly. The extreme right manages to have a parliamentary group, for which it is necessary to have at least 15 deputies

Le Pen, who lost the presidential elections in April against Macron and was not very involved in the electoral campaign for the legislative elections, would be re-elected deputy for her Pas-de-Calais constituency, according to TF1.

The Republicans save the furniture in the legislative elections, after the disastrous result of the presidential elections, in which their candidate, Valérie Pécresse, came in fifth place in the first round. The moderate right, with a strong local base, would win 60 and 70 seats, according to projections, although it would no longer be the first opposition party. Macron could be forced to agree with the Republicans in order to carry out his reforms.

The number of deputies that a party achieves is important. With 15 deputies, a parliamentary group can be formed and a parliamentary investigation commission can be created. With 58 deputies, a motion of censure can be presented to oppose the Government. And with 185 deputies, they can request the organization of a referendum.

Abstention was once again the main protagonist of the day. In the midst of a heat wave in the country and family celebrations for Father’s Day, many French people did not go to vote. According to estimates by the Ifop polling institute, abstention would reach 54%, 3.26 points less than five years ago. In 2017, the abstention rate was 57.26%.

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