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French public sentiment after unexpected election result

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“Now, what shall we do?” the headline of Le Parisien wrote, referring to the shocking incident on Sunday. Election Results Start to sink.

On the second day of a historic election, France woke up to a result that none of the polls had predicted. New Popular Front Took it away Most seats in the National AssemblyIn third place is the party that pollsters and experts alike expected to be in the lead – Far-right National Rally.

The question now vexed the nation was who would rule France, and how.

In a country that is unwilling to engage in political compromise and cooperation, it is unclear how to form a government and take on the important work of passing a national budget and enacting new laws.

president Early elections A month ago, among the far-right Eurosceptic A heavy blow to his pro-European party In the European Parliament elections, Mr Macron explained that the domestic vote would provide “clarification” for the country. In short, he was asking his fellow citizens whether they could really allow the far right to take power when so many people believe its views are a threat to society.

The answer, in the end, seems to be that many cannot imagine such a scenario. These include left-wing parties and some of Macron’s centrists, who have united to form the so-called “National Rally” dam by withdrawing dozens of candidates in the three-way race.

Still, the country seems more chaotic than before, with three big political blocs, each with a very different vision and project for the country. The electoral map shows a persistent divide – Paris and its suburbs vote left and centre, the far north and south along the Mediterranean coast vote far right.

Le Parisien concluded its editorial summarizing the current situation: “When clarification is shrouded in the thickest fog.”

An editorial in a conservative daily declared that the country was in “the greatest chaos” Le Figaro“Tomorrow’s National Assembly will be even more ungovernable than yesterday’s.”

The editorial vowed to readers to “find a way through this never-ending fog of crisis.”

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, who belongs to Macron’s party and was once a favorite of the president, offered his resignation on Monday morning but Macron asked him to stay on for now “to ensure national stability,” the Elysee Palace said.

“Everything is possible, everything is conceivable,” Jean-Philippe Derosier, a professor of public law at the University of Lille, said in a long interview during a special morning broadcast on France Info about the election.

Much of the country was in shock. Before the election, all opinion polls had shown the far-right National Rally on track to win the most seats. The question was whether it could win enough seats to achieve an outright majority and take over the prime minister’s office and appoint cabinet ministers.

“Comeback – Amazing Reversal”, an article editorial Published in the Catholic daily La Croix.

To some, the result seemed a clear rejection of the PN’s anti-immigrant ideology, even though the party and its allies made huge gains in the election, winning about 140 seats, about 50 more than the PN had previously held.

The front page of the business daily Les Echos featured a large photo of the party chairman. Jordan Badellathe title was short and sharp: “A Slap.”

People in the country’s capital – where the far right has been kept out – are feeling extremely relieved and happy.

People poured into Republic Square, the city’s perennial protest site. They danced, hugged and congratulated each other. Fireworks exploded overhead.

“I’m relieved,” said Charlotte Cosmao, 33, a set designer, as she and friends drank celebratory beers on the edge of the square. “I’m very happy.”

A smaller celebration took place at another Place de la République in the city of Le Mans, 140 miles southwest of Paris. The region also prevented the far right from gaining any seats. One of the losing candidates was Marie-Caroline Le Pen, the daughter of party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen. (Another daughter, Marine Le Pen, is the longtime leader of the National Rally and won her seat outright in the first round.)

“It’s incredible, totally unexpected,” said Damien Fabre, 36, a history teacher, at the celebrations in Le Mans, as someone shouted that there were no fascists in the area, prompting cheers. “This changes the whole political future of the country.”

“We were getting used to the National Rally having a relative majority,” said Fabre, who campaigned for the far-left France Indomitable. “Now the path is open for the left: while it may not be able to implement its platform, at least it will be able to be on the offensive and set the tempo.”

Although there were some street clashes with police in parts of France as the election closed that evening, the vote did not spark the violence many, including the interior minister, had expected. There are about 30,000 police officers nationwide, including 5,000 in and around Paris, where the far right is particularly unpopular and authorities fear protests could turn violent if it wins. Many Parisian shop owners boarded up their storefronts on the Champs-Elysees, the capital’s most famous street, expecting looting and rioting, but that was not to be.

Far-right supporters, many of whom were attracted by promises of lower taxes, reduced immigration and more state services, are clearly disappointed.

“They called us fascists, but that no longer exists,” said Claire Marais-Beuil, a newly elected National Rally politician, at a small victory party at a local cafe in Beauvais, northern France.

“I’m worried about my France,” she added. “France will become ungovernable and everything we want to do will be hampered or difficult to achieve.”

There is also the question of whether the left’s victory was more of a rejection of the far right than an endorsement of the left coalition’s platform. The newly formed coalition called on voters last week to help it form a barrier — a “dam” or “republican front” — against the growing National Alliance and prevent it from taking power. It even withdrew 130 candidates from the three-way race and backed its rivals in a bid to defeat the National Alliance.

The left-wing newspaper Liberation editorial Praising the left for defeating what they called the xenophobic right, the editorial began: “Thanks to whom? Thanks to the Republican Front.”

But the editorial said the vote forced the new left-wing Popular Front to “live up to the mature expectations of the electorate.” It called on the coalition to be humble, tone down partisanship and address the deep-seated sense of downward mobility — “class degeneration” in French — among many voters that feeds the far right.

Lest we forget, it tells left-wing leaders that “the far right is stronger in our country than ever before”.

Liz Oldman Reporting from Beauvais, France; Ségolène Le Stradick From Le Mans, France; Aida Alami From Paris.

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