Macron Flex Political Muscle: Left and Centrists Thwart Far-Right Surge

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jul.08 - 2024 11:06 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Paves the way for a coalition between Macron and the left

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In a decisive political showdown, France witnessed a formidable display of strength from the left-wing coalition and President Macron’s centrist bloc in Sunday's legislative elections, aimed at thwarting the rise of the far-right.

Preventing Far-Right Victories

According to Ipsos Talan polling, the left-wing New Popular Front emerged as the top force, securing between 172 and 192 seats in the National Assembly.

This significant gain prevents a majority for Marine Le Pen's far-right party, National Rally, which is projected to secure between 132 and 152 seats despite leading in the first round. This outcome also potentially paves the way for a coalition between Macron and the left, as neither holds an outright majority.

The Republican defensive bloc, aimed at preventing far-right victories, has proven its resilience in elections called early by President Emmanuel Macron. The high-stakes contest saw historic voter turnout, with Ministry of Interior data indicating 59.71% participation by late afternoon – the highest since 1981, reported by Europa Press.

Republican Bloc Held Firm

Following the New Popular Front and National Rally, Ensemble - Together for the Republic - emerged as the second-place contender, garnering between 150 and 170 seats. With the National Assembly comprising 577 seats, a majority requires at least 289.

"The Republican bloc has held firm, and the centrist bloc has held up well," remarked President Macron, as reported by TF1-LCI. However, Macron cautioned that the results do not definitively answer the question of "who will govern," urging caution. He emphasized that his centrist bloc "is not dead."

Prime Minister Resigns

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced his resignation to President Macron on Monday, adhering to republican tradition following the defeat of parties supporting his government.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the New Popular Front, called on Macron to invite their coalition to form a government following their victory. Mélenchon insisted, "The president has the duty to call the New Popular Front to govern." However, he categorically rejected any post-election agreements with Macron's centrism, citing years of social policy critique.

Stéphane Séjourné, Secretary General of the Renaissance party, emphasized that no coalition, including Mélenchon's, has a majority in the National Assembly despite their electoral gains. "Contrary to some predictions, the moderate central republican bloc stands strong," Séjourné celebrated.