Home News 5 key points for France’s early election

5 key points for France’s early election


France saw a surprising rise for the left in national legislative elections on Sunday, with the nationalist, anti-immigrant National Rally party losing its majority in the lower house of parliament.

But no single party appears likely to secure an outright majority, plunging one of Europe’s largest countries into deadlock or political instability.

The results, compiled by The New York Times using data from the Ministry of the Interior, confirmed earlier predictions that no single party or group would win a majority.

The following are election.

France’s process of selecting a new parliament through early elections has produced two big surprises, neither of which was expected by experts, pollsters or forecasters.

The biggest victory was for the left: its coalition won 178 seats, becoming the country’s dominant political bloc. It was the most surprising victory for the French left since Francois Mitterrand won the presidency as a Socialist in 1981, leading it out of its postwar quagmire.

President Emmanuel Macron, with strong support from the French commentary community, has spent the past seven years proclaiming that the left — and the Socialists in particular — is dead, and that radicals like France Indomitable are dangerous troublemakers. Both won resoundingly on Sunday.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, founder of the Indomitable France party, which is expected to win around 80 seats — perhaps a dozen more than the Socialists — declared that it was now Macron’s “duty” to appoint a prime minister from the left-wing coalition, the New Popular Front. He boldly said he would refuse to “negotiate with the president.”

In Paris, a large and raucous crowd gathered to celebrate on Sunday evening in a working-class neighborhood near the Square of the Battle of Stalingrad.

The other two parties in the New Popular Front are the Greens, which are expected to get about 35 seats, and the Communists, which are expected to get about 10 seats.

Another surprise was that the National League and its allies finished only third, having been expected to win the most seats, if not an outright majority, in the 577-seat National Assembly, the more powerful lower house.

The party is ready to govern with Macron, with the prime minister and president on opposing political positions, a strategy known as “coexistence”.

Still, the National Alliance and its allies did win 142 seats — more than at any time in its history, a point the party was quick to point out.

“The tide is rising,” Marine Le Pen, the party’s longtime leader and perennial presidential candidate, told reporters on Sunday. “It’s not rising enough this time, but it’s rising. So our victory has really only been delayed.”

But the radical change predicted before Sunday — that France would become a far-right nation — did not happen.

So, despite Ms. Le Pen’s rhetoric, the mood on election night was somber for the National Rally.

It is too early to tell how the two-round voting pattern will change and how the new Popular Front will achieve its unexpected victory. But the strategy aimed at preventing the far right from winning by forming a “Republican Front” seems to have played an important role.

France’s left-wing parties and Macron’s centrist alliance fielded more than 200 candidates in a three-way race in districts where the far right had a chance to win seats. Many voters disgusted by the far right then cast their ballots for the left-wing candidate – even if that candidate was not their first choice.

“Under normal circumstances, I would never have voted for ‘France Unbowed,’ ” Hélène Leguillon, 43, said after casting her ballot in Le Mans. “In order to prevent the National Rally, we are forced to make a choice that we would not have made otherwise.”

The far right argues the tactic is unfair and deprives voters of their voice.

“Depriving millions of French people of the possibility to realize their ideas and put them into practice will never be a viable path for France,” National Rally president Jordan Bardella told supporters in a speech. He accused Macron and the left of reaching a “dangerous electoral deal.”

Official figures for the final turnout were not available Sunday evening, but pollsters predicted it would be around 67%, well above the turnout in France’s last legislative election in 2022. That year, only about 46% of registered voters participated in the second round.

Sunday’s turnout was the highest since 1997, reflecting strong interest in a race that features higher stakes than usual.

France’s legislative elections are usually held a few weeks after the presidential election and usually favor the party that wins the presidency. This makes them less appealing to voters, many of whom feel the outcome is predetermined.

This time, though, voters believed their vote could fundamentally change the course of Macron’s presidency — and it appears they were right.

With no single party having an outright majority and parliament’s lower house about to be dominated by feuding factions, it remains unclear exactly how France will be governed and by whom.

Macron must appoint a prime minister who can form a government that is sure to be unseated by newly elected members of the National Assembly in a vote of no confidence.

It is unclear who will be the next president, and none of the three major groups (which are also divided among themselves) seem willing to cooperate with the others.

“The political culture in France is not conducive to compromise,” said Sammy Benzina, a professor of public law at the University of Poitiers.

Mélenchon is disliked by many in the Socialist Party (even by some members of his own party, who remain unhappy with his control over the party even though he is no longer its official leader); members of Macron’s Ennahda party are also unhappy with the president’s announcement of an early election; and most lawmakers who are not members of the National Rally also hate it.

Macron himself is a powerful anger generator, as he has demonstrated many times during his seven years as president, although he has ruled out resigning. The latest survey by the Ifop polling institute shows that After he decided to call an early election but before the vote His approval rating is only 26%..

Where will France’s next prime minister come from? How much legislative power does Macron still have? Can he still serve as president if the House of Representatives cannot govern?

stay tuned.

Ségolène Le Stradick Reporting from Le Mans, France, also contributed.

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