Left-Wing Coalition Wins Most Seats, Falls Short of Majority in France’s Runoff Elections

Joseph Lord
By Joseph Lord
July 7, 2024France

The left-wing New Popular Front coalition has won the largest share of seats in the French National Assembly, according to the final results from the second round of voting.

However, none of the three major contenders took an absolute majority, setting the stage for a political gridlock in France.

The New Popular Front has taken the most seats in parliament, securing at least 181. President Emmanuel Macron’s centrists have more than 160 seats. Marine Le Pen’s right-wing National Rally has 143 seats, after leading in the first round.

Speaking to supporters as results began to come in, left-wing leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon called the results “a considerable victory.”

Mr. Mélenchon attributed that victory to “a political stance that let us rally the people.”

The left-wing coalition was the result of a last-minute political alliance thrown together on June 10 following National Rally’s victory in the European Parliament elections. The coalition includes most of France’s major left-wing parties.

Following early projections, French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal—the leader of Mr. Macron’s faction in the National Assembly—announced that he would resign.

Mr. Macron said that he would “wait for the new National Assembly to organize itself” before making any decisions on the new government.

The National Assembly is scheduled to gather in full session for the first time on July 18. The statement says that Mr. Macron will ensure that the “sovereign choice of the French people will be respected.”

During the first round of voting last week, Ms. Le Pen’s National Rally Party seemed poised to take a majority of seats in the French Parliament, leading in more than half of all districts during the first round.

Following the first-round results, in which National Rally led with about 34 percent of the vote, both left-wing and centrist coalitions banded together in an effort to defeat the right, with more than 200 third-place centrist and left-wing candidates withdrawing from the runoff to consolidate the anti-right vote.

However, final results still indicate that the right walked away from the election with its largest share of seats ever in the National Assembly.

Speaking about the projected results, Jordan Bardella—Ms. Le Pen’s 28-year-old political protégé who would have become prime minister had his party won—said that his party was “ready to assume its responsibilities” as one of the three major blocs in the National Assembly.

Mr. Bardella denounced the political maneuvering that led National Rally to fall far short of expectations. An unprecedented number of candidates who qualified for the runoff stepped aside to allow an opponent to go head-to-head with each National Rally candidate, increasing the chances of defeating them .

“We don’t want power for power’s sake,” he said.

Mr. Bardella said that he and his party’s “intention for the true recovery of the country is stronger than ever.”

“I will be there, for you, with you, until victory,” he said.

Ms. Le Pen has already faced off against Mr. Macron in the past two French presidential elections, and she is currently favored by many as the front-runner for the 2027 French presidential election.

The prospect of a divided parliament with no single majority leaves many questions about French governance moving forward.

From The Epoch Times