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French Elections For Members

French far right blasts 'alliance of dishonour' as left celebrates shock win

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The Local France/AFP - [email protected]
French far right blasts 'alliance of dishonour' as left celebrates shock win
French Rassemblement National (RN) far-right party's president Jordan Bardella leaves after his speech during the party's election night following the first results of the second round of France's legislative election in Paris on July 7, 2024. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)

In the aftermath of his party's unexpected loss in France's parliamentary elections, the far-right leader Jordan Bardella, called the left and centrist alliance a 'dishonour', while left-wing leaders say they are ready to govern.

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Final results for France's snap parliamentary elections give the left-wing coalition - Nouveau Front Populaire, which combines the La France Insoumise, Parti Socialiste, Greens and Communist Party - the largest share of seats in France's Assemblée Nationale in Sunday's election.

President Emmanuel Macron's centrist coalition came in second place, followed by Marine Le Pen's far-right Rassemblement National (RN), which had been predicted to win a majority.

Listen to the team at The Local France discuss the latest election results in a special episode of the Talking France podcast. Download here or listen on the link below

 

Follow our latest coverage of the election here.

READ MORE: What happens next in France next after bombshell election results?

Here's the reaction from across the political spectrum in France.

Far right

The head of the RN, Jordan Bardella, considered the most likely candidate to become Prime Minister should the party have won an absolute majority, dubbed the left-wing and Macronist camps' alliance to block the far-right a "dishonour".

He said: "The alliance has deprived the French people of the recovery policy that they voted for in large numbers" and has "thrown the French into the arms of the far-left".

"Tonight everything begins. An old world has fallen, nothing can stop a people who have started to hope again," Bardella said during his speech at the campaign headquarters following the vote results.

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Former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen also spoke to the French news channel TF1 on Sunday night shortly after the results were released.

"The tide is rising. It has not risen high enough this time, but it continues to rise and, therefore, our victory is only delayed," she said on TF1.

"I have too much experience to be disappointed by a result where we double our number of deputies", she added. The RN won 143 MPs, in comparison to the 89 they won during the last parliamentary elections in 2022.

The left 

The NFP won 182 seats in parliament, putting them in first place.

While crowds gathered in celebration across the country, notably at the Place de la République and Stalingrad in Paris, leaders expressed their views.

The founder of the left-wing La France Insoumise party and three-time presidential candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon said that the "[French left] is ready to govern".

READ MORE: Who will be France's next prime minister?

"Our people have clearly rejected the worst-case scenario," Mélenchon said, adding that "the defeat of the President of the Republic and his coalition has been confirmed," and that Prime Minister Gabriel Attal should step down.

The leader of the centre-left Parti Socialiste (PS) Olivier Faure urged "democracy" within the left-wing alliance so they could work together.

"To move forward together we need democracy within our ranks (...) No outside remarks will come and impose themselves on us," he said in a thinly veiled criticism of Mélenchon.

As for Raphael Glucksmann, MEP and co-president of the smaller pro-European, centre-left Place Publique party in the alliance, he said: "We're ahead, but in a divided parliament... so people are going to have to behave like adults (...) people are going to have to talk to each other."

Former French presidident, François Hollande, who was elected MP for the Corrèze département for Parti Socialiste, said that it was now up to the "NFP to seek, and if it can, to bring together other political families", even though that would be "very difficult". 

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And despite losing his seat in the first round, the head of the Communist Party, Fabien Roussel said: "The French people are asking us to succeed. And we accept this challenge".

The centre

The prime minister, Gabriel Attal, gave a speech on Sunday night, recognising the centrists' defeat and discussing plans to offer his resignation.

"The political party that I represent, even though it achieved a score three times higher [168 seats] than predicted in recent weeks, does not have a majority.

"So, in keeping with republican tradition and in accordance with my principles, tomorrow morning I will hand in my resignation to the President of the Republic," Attal said.

He added that he will stay in the position as long as necessary.

President Macron did not make any announcements following the results, but an aide told AFP that the president preferred to analyse the full results before jumping to conclusions.

The president is confident "and is not going for a small majority", the aide said. "The question now is who is going to govern and have a majority."

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Comments (2)

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Per Axel Oxenstirna 2024/07/08 14:49
It is not dishonor, but the people who can vote, the electorate choosing a candidate that they want. Dishonor implies that you must not change your opinion. But that changing your vote, your opinion is what democracy is all about.
Per Axel Oxenstirna 2024/07/08 14:46
As an American I view this vote as an affirmation of democracy where many different groups will and do have a voice. We have 2 parties here. And they will accommodate different viewpoints. I wish we had more than 2 parties as then everyone is forced into respecting and working with others. We also have "originalists" that choose their times when they want to be originalists. How about 1840? You are also in your 5th Republic. A concept most Americans do not understand. Your dialogues may be fierce, but you do try to compromise for the greater good of France.

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