Saturday

2nd Jul 2022

Le Pen triumphant as Macron loses majority

  • French president Emmanuel Macron could call a second, snap election if parliament remains blocked (Photo: Emma Deodorson)
Listen to article

French president Emmanuel Macron has lost his parliamentary majority in the second round of elections, amid gains by the far left and far right.

Macron's centrist coalition, called Ensemble, won just 245 seats in parliament on Sunday (19 June) according to exit polls — 44 seats short of the 289 it needed for stable rule.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

A far-left and green coalition called Nupes led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon came second with 145 seats.

The far-right National Rally party of Marine Le Pen came third with 89, compared to just eight in the previous legislature and representing the highest number in the party's history.

Meanwhile, voter turnout was below 50 percent 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.

"We are facing a democratic shock because of a very strong breakthrough by the National Rally," finance minister Bruno Le Maire said.

"The rout of the presidential party is complete," Mélenchon told supporters.

But 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.

The outcome means Macron, who was re-elected president in April, will have to form a coalition or ad hoc alliances with conservative lawmakers to push through policies, in a situation which analysts predict could lead to a shift to the right in his politics.

A coalition with the Les Republicans right-wing party, which won 64 seats, would yield a majority, but officials from the party said there was little chance of a deal, Reuters reports.

Macron could also call a second, snap election if parliament remains blocked. But if he didn't win, he would have to wait another year before calling one again.

"This culture of compromise is one we will have to adopt but we must do so around clear values, ideas, and political projects for France," Le Maire said.

France under EU pressure for surveillance sales to Egypt

The European Commission is asking French authorities to explain whether they authorised the sale of cyber-surveillance tools to the regime in Egypt, posing questions over possible violations of EU export rules.

MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship

Two MEPs have withdrawn their nominations from the MEPs Awards over the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis's participation as a sponsor — currently involved in an alleged bribery scandal in Greece.

EU Parliament interpreters stage strike

Interpreters at the European Parliament are fed up with remote interpretation, citing auditory health issues given the poor quality of the online sessions.

Opinion

The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

News in Brief

  1. EU Parliament 'photographs protesting interpreters'
  2. Poland still failing to meet EU judicial criteria
  3. Report: Polish president fishing for UN job
  4. Auditors raise alarm on EU Commission use of consultants
  5. Kaliningrad talks needed with Russia, says Polish PM
  6. Report: EU to curb state-backed foreign takeovers
  7. EU announces trade deal with New Zealand
  8. Russia threatens Norway over goods transit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. Nato's Madrid summit — key takeaways
  2. Czech presidency to fortify EU embrace of Ukraine
  3. Covid-profiting super rich should fight hunger, says UN food chief
  4. EU pollution and cancer — it doesn't have to be this way
  5. Israel smeared Palestinian activists, EU admits
  6. MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship
  7. If Russia collapses — which states will break away?
  8. EU Parliament interpreters stage strike

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us