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'Unprecedented situation' - Macron loses majority in French parliament

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'Unprecedented situation' - Macron loses majority in French parliament
France's President Emmanuel Macron cast his vote during the second stage of French parliamentary elections at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France on June 19, 2022. (Photo by Michel Spingler / POOL / AFP)

Emmanuel Macron's prime minister will begin work on Monday trying to secure a coalition after his party lost its majority in the French parliamentary elections.

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Macron's centrist coalition Ensemble won 245 seats, making them the largest group but falling short of the 289 needed for a majority in the Assemblée nationale.

The left-wing Nupes alliance won 131 seats, while Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally made major gains and won 89 seats.

The final results were confirmed by the Interior Ministry in the early hours of Monday.

Macron's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne made a brief speech as the results came in, saying: "Tonight the situation is unprecedented.

"This situation constitutes a risk for our country, given the challenges that we have to confront," she said in a televised statement, adding: "We will work from tomorrow to build a working majority."

The result does not affect Macron's position as president, but means he will find it difficult to pass laws without a majority in the Assemblée nationale. 

The Macron government has also lost several big names, as ministers including Health minister Brigitte Bourguignon and Environment minister Amélie de Montchalin lost their seats.

READ ALSO What happens next in France as Macron loses majority?

Key ministers in the Macron government admitted that the performance in parliamentary elections was "disappointing".

The results are "far from what we hoped", Budget Minister Gabriel Attal said on the TF1 channel, while Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti told BFM television: "We're in first place but it's a first place that is obviously disappointing."

Meanwhile the number two of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, Jordan Bardella, hailed her party's performance as a "tsumani".

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Macron and Borne - who won her seat in Calvados, Normandy - will to attempt to build an alliance over the next few days with centre-right (LR) and independent MPs in order to give him a majority in parliament.

 

The new left-wing coalition Nupes  - now the second-largest group in parliament - was formed in May after the left suffered a debacle in April presidential elections, and groups the centre-left Parti Socialiste, the hard-left La France Insoumise, Communists and greens.

The left only had 60 seats in the outgoing parliament.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen's National Rally party made huge gains after having only eight seats in the outgoing parliament.   

Turnout was again very low for the second round, where just 46 percent of people voted.

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Several big-name Macron supporters have lost their seats, including Health minister Brigitte Bourguignon, Environment minister Amélie de Montchalin, former interior minister Christophe Castaner and Richard Ferrand, president of the Assemblée nationale.

Ministers who lose their seats as MP are not technically obliged to step down from their ministerial role, but Macron has said that they will be expected to do so. 

Damien Abad, the newly-appointed Disabilities minister who had been at the centre of a storm after he was accused of rape by three women, won re-election in Ain, northern France.

Europe minister Clément Beune - a Macron protege who was facing a very tight race in his constituency in Paris - beat the Nupes candidate by just 658 votes. 

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