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BREAKING: France election results as National Rally crushed by last minute left coalition

Huge crowds gathered in Paris to celebrate victory

Huge crowds gathered in Paris to celebrate the surprise victory of the left-wing union over Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (Image: Anadolu via Getty Images)

The prospect of a far-right government in France has been quashed following an unexpected victory for a last-minute left-wing coalition, formed to counter the rising wave of anti-immigration nationalist parties in the French parliament. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, who were reportedly readying champagne in anticipation of their predicted win, were instead relegated to third place.

The coalition, which was established just weeks prior, secured 182 seats, while Macron’s liberals retained 168 through an agreement to unite against the right in many constituencies. However, the pact between President Macron’s allies and the left-wing parties failed to secure a majority in the parliamentary election for either group, signalling potential political instability for the French populace.

This could unsettle markets and the French economy, the second-largest in the EU, and have wide-reaching consequences for the conflict in Ukraine, global diplomacy, and Europe’s economic stability. When calling the election on June 9, following the far-right’s surge in French voting for the European Parliament, President Emmanuel Macron stated that sending voters back to the polls would provide “clarification.”

The audacious gamble appears to have spectacularly misfired at virtually every turn. The rejuvenated leftist coalition has seized control of parliament with a commanding 182 seats, according to the second-round results unveiled early Monday.

President Macron’s beleaguered centrists only secured 168 seats, while Marine LePen’s far-right National Rally took home 143 seats after enjoying a significant lead in the first round.

This just goes to show that all three dominant blocs fall well short of the necessary 289 seats needed to assume control of the 577-seat National Assembly. A troubled Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, intends to tender his resignation on Monday. He said: “Our country is facing an unprecedented political situation and is preparing to welcome the world in a few weeks.”

With the impending thrill of the Olympics, he’s made it clear hes ready to remain at his post for “as long as duty demands.”

Three years remain on Macron’s presidential term.

Mr Attal expressed his sheer disappointment over Macron’s surprise decision to call forth elections, declaring “I didn’t choose this dissolution” of the already outgoing National Assembly, where once Macrons centrist alliance held sway – despite their lack of an absolute majority.

Nonetheless, it had still managed to govern for two years, drawing in lawmakers from various camps to resist efforts aimed at its downfall. This new legislature, however, appears largely devoid of such stability.

In Stalingrad square, Paris, left-wing supporters erupted in cheers and applause as projections showing their alliance leading were displayed on a massive screen. Similar scenes of jubilation were witnessed at Republique plaza in eastern Paris, with spontaneous hugs among strangers and continuous applause following the announcement of the projections.

Marielle Castry, a 55 year old medical secretary, was travelling on the metro in Paris when the initial projections were announced post-poll closure. “Everybody had their smartphones and were waiting for the results and then everybody was overjoyed,” she said.

“I had been stressed out since June 9 and the European elections. … And now, I feel good. Relieved.”

Even before the casting of votes, the election had already reshaped France’s political landscape. It spurred parties on the left to set aside their differences and unite under a new alliance, the New Popular Front.

This coalition pledged to reverse many of Macron’s key reforms, initiate a significantly expensive public spending programme, and adopt a much harder stance against Israel due to the war with Hamas in its foreign policy.

Macron labelled the left’s coalition as “extreme” and cautioned that its economic programme, involving tens of billions of euros in public spending funded partly by tax increases for high earners and wealth, could spell disaster for France. The country has already faced criticism from EU watchdogs over its debt.

As the New Popular Front emerged with the most seats, its leaders wasted no time in challenging President Macron to allow the coalition the opportunity to form a government and suggest a prime minister to co-govern.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, a leading figure of the leftist alliance, confidently declared that the group “is ready to govern.”

Despite falling significantly short of an absolute majority, which would have heralded France’s first far-right administration since the Second World War, the National Rally, known for its anti-immigration stance and historical ties to antisemitism and racism, has secured an unprecedented number of seats in the National Assembly.

Following their lead in the initial round of voting, the party’s adversaries united to thwart any chance of a sweeping victory in the subsequent runoff by tactically withdrawing candidates from numerous constituencies. This resulted in many far-right contenders facing off against a single adversary, complicating their path to victory.

For numerous voters, the imperative to prevent the far right from ascending to power overshadowed all other concerns, prompting them to support the opposing candidates in the second round, regardless of their usual political affiliations. Marine Le Pen, the National Rally leader who is believed to be setting her sights on a fourth presidential bid in 2027, optimistically stated that the election results have paved the way for “the victory of tomorrow.”

“The tide is rising,” she said. “It did not rise high enough this time. The reality is that our victory is only deferred,” she added.

Jordan Bardella, the youthful 28 year old protege of Le Pen who harboured ambitions of becoming prime minister, lamented the election’s outcome, stating it “throws France into the arms of the extreme left.”

From his office, President Macron released a statement indicating he would not be hurried into selecting a potential prime minister to establish a government. It declared that he would observe the incoming results and await the formation of the new National Assembly before making “the necessary decisions.”

France finds itself navigating uncharted waters with the prospect of a hung parliament. Unlike its European neighbours who are more versed in forming coalition governments, France lacks a history of political adversaries uniting to command a majority.

Moreover, France’s centralised governance system, with a preponderance of decision-making concentrated in Paris, sets it apart from many other European nations.

The president had held out hope that with the nation’s destiny at stake, voters might pivot away from the extremes of right and left, gravitating towards the more centrist mainstream parties that had previously propelled him to presidential victories in both 2017 and 2022.

However, instead of rallying to his side, a multitude of voters grasped his unexpected decision as a chance to express their profound discontent.

In the first round of voting last weekend, voters showed their support for candidates from the National Rally, while the left-wing coalition came in second and his centrist alliance trailed in third.

The stark polarisation of French politics – particularly in this heated and rapid campaign – is bound to make any coalition-building efforts challenging. The electoral campaign was tainted by racism and antisemitism, alongside Russian disinformation campaigns, and over 50 candidates reported physical attacks – a highly unusual occurrence for France.


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