Macron accused of “lacking firmness” with Putin according to an expert
The French president is set to lose his absolute majority in the National Assembly and control of his reform agenda after early projections from four pollsters showed Sunday’s election delivered a hung parliament. The absolute majority threshold is 289 seats in the lower house and while projections from the four pollsters vary, all agreed Mr Macron and his allies would fall well short of that.
Separate forecasts from Ifop, OpinionWay, Elabe and Ipsos pollsters showed Macron’s Ensemble alliance winning 200-260 seats and Jean-Luc Melenchon’s left-wing Nupes bloc taking 149-200.
If confirmed, a hung parliament would trigger a period of political uncertainty that would demand a degree of power-sharing between parties unseen in France in recent decades.
This can lead to political paralysis and possibly even repeat elections.
Mr Macron’s ability to push ahead with reform of the euro zone’s second-largest economy would depend on his ability to rally moderates outside his alliance on the right and left to back his legislative agenda.
Emmanuel Macron did not win an absolute majority, according to projections
Macron, President of France, at the Viva Technology conference in Paris, France, on Friday
Rachida Dati, conservative mayor of Paris, said: “It is a dismal failure for this government. Even Mitterrand in 1988 did not reach this level. This is the failure of Macron’s strategy. He will have to draw the consequences and change Prime Minister. “
France 24 reports that Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, one of 13 cabinet ministers not standing in the legislative elections, said: “We are in first place, but it’s a first place that is obviously disappointing.”
Government spokeswoman Olivia Grégoire is quoted by the same outlet as saying: “It’s disappointing, but it’s a first place.”
Mr Macron’s budget minister, Gabriel Attal, said: “It’s less than we hoped for. The French didn’t give us an absolute majority.
“It’s an unprecedented situation that will force us to overcome our divisions.”
Jean-Luc Melenchon delivers a speech after the first results of the legislative elections
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen
In another huge shift for French politics, Marine Le Pen’s far-right party could win up to 100 seats, according to initial projections. This would represent his biggest score ever.
Conservative Republicans and their allies could also get up to 100, which could potentially make them kingmakers.
Estimates also show that French Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon is set to lose her seat in the lower house elections.
Richard Ferrand, president of France’s National Assembly and a close ally of Mr Macron, said he had been beaten.
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Who is Emmanuel Macron?
Christophe Castaner, a former interior minister and another senior official who helped shape Mr Macron’s first five-year term, also admitted his own defeat.
In April, Mr Macron, 44, became the first French president in two decades to win a second term, but he presides over a deeply disenchanted and divided country where support for populist parties on the right and left has surged.
The French president had called for a strong mandate during a campaign against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, which has curbed food and energy supplies and pushed up inflation, hitting household budgets.
Ahead of the second-round vote, Mr Macron said: ‘Nothing would be worse than adding French disorder to global disorder.’
The President of the French National Assembly, Richard Ferrand
Mr Melenchon told his supporters on Sunday evening that the outcome of the lower house elections was a “totally unexpected and unseen” situation.
He added that his camp had achieved its goal of depriving Mr Macron of a parliamentary majority.
Ms Le Pen, who won her constituency in northern France, described the seats won as by far the largest in the history of her party’s “political family”.
The National Rally party is estimated to have 89 seats, more than 11 times the eight it won in the 2017 vote. Ms Le Pen said her party had helped make Mr Macron “a president minority”.
Ms. Le Pen swore that her party would be a firm and non-collusive opposition, but respectful of institutions.
She also said she would unite “patriots from both right and left.”
French voters voted to fill the 577 seats in the National Assembly, which is the lower house of the French Parliament.
Abstentions are likely to have a significant impact on the results with France 24 reporting a turnout of 38% at 5 p.m. French time.