Sunday, 26 Jun 2022

Macron’s centrist grouping to lose absolute majority in parliament, say projected results

Macron’s centrist grouping to lose absolute majority in parliament, say projected results


Macron’s centrist grouping to lose absolute majority in parliament, say projected results

Emmanuel Macron's centrist grouping has lost its absolute majority in parliament, amid gains by a new left alliance and a historic surge by the far right, according to projected results in Sunday's election.

After five years of undisputed control of parliament, the recently re-elected Macron, known for his top-down approach to power, now enters his second term facing uncertainty over how he will deliver domestic policies, such as raising the retirement age and overhauling state benefits. His centrists will need to strike compromises and expand alliances in parliament to be able to push forward his proposals to cut taxes and shake up the welfare system.

Macron's Ensemble (Together) remains the biggest grouping in parliament, but suffered significant losses in what the media called a "crushing defeat" and an "earthquake". Political analysts deemed the results a "severe failure" for Macron's centrist alliance, which missed the absolute majority by a large margin, in contrast to its landslide win five years ago.

Projections by Ipsos pollsters, based on partial results, showed that Macron's centrists would win about 234 seats - much less than the 289 required for an absolute majority in the National Assembly.

A historic alliance of parties on the left, led by the hard-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon's France Unbowed party with the Socialists and the Greens, seemed poised to become the largest opposition group, with about 141 seats.

But the most striking result of the night came for Marine Le Pen's far-right, anti-immigration National Rally party, which was forecast to increase its seats from eight in 2017 to about 90 - a historic high for a party that in the past has struggled to make gains in the first-past-the-post parliamentary voting system.

The far-right gains showed that Le Pen's party had expanded from its traditional heartlands in the Pas-de-Calais across a swathe of the north and north-east, and spread from its south-eastern base along the Mediterranean coast.

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