Macron faces gridlock after stunning parliamentary defeat
June 20, 2022 - French President Emmanuel Macron has lost his parliamentary majority in the second round of legislative elections amid gains by far left and far right parties.
Macron’s centrist coalition, called ”Ensemble!” (Together!), won just 245 seats in parliament on Sunday (June 19, 2022) -- failing to reach the 289-seat threshold, even if his alliance remains the largest bloc.
The second-largest group in parliament is Nupes (New Ecological and Social Popular Union), a leftist coalition led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, which gets 131 lawmakers. The far-right National Rally, led by Marine Le Pen, fared much better than expected, with 89 seats. At the same time, the centre-right Republicans and their allies, the Union of Democrats and Independents, took 64 seats.
Meanwhile, voter turnout was well below 50 per cent -- just 38.11 per cent at 17:00 local time -- in a sign of broad social disenchantment with French politics.
“This situation represents a risk for our country, given the risks we’re facing nationally and internationally,” French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Sunday. “We will work as of tomorrow to build a working majority,” she added.
“The rout of the presidential party is complete,” Mélenchon told supporters.
Le Pen sounded even more triumphant. “We have achieved our three objectives: that of making Emmanuel Macron a minority president, without control of power, and that of pursuing the political recomposition essential to democratic renewal,” she said.