President Emmanuel Macron is on course to lose his absolute majority in the National Assembly, as well as control of his reform agenda, after the first forecasts from four pollsters showed Sunday’s elections resulted in a hung parliament. Mr Macron’s centrist ensemble! party would end up with the most seats, followed by the left-wing Nupes bloc led by far-left veteran Jean-Luc Melenchon, polls show.
Forecasts by pollsters Ifop, OpinionWay, Elabe and Ipsos showed Ensemble! winning 200-260 seats and Nupes securing 149-200.
The threshold for an absolute majority is 289 seats in the House of Representatives.
AFP news agency says Ms Le Pen’s far-right party has also made “big gains” in the election, according to forecasts.
France 24 reports that the biggest winner of the evening, according to early estimates, is Ms Le Pen’s National Rally party with 89 seats.
This is 11 times more than the party won in the 2017 vote.
Jordan Bardella, interim head of National Rally, said: “It is Emmanuel Macron’s own arrogance, his own contempt for the French people and his own incompetence in terms of security and purchasing power that have made him a minority president. breakthrough.”
If the projection is correct, National Rally will be able to form a parliamentary group for the first time since Ms Le Pen’s National Front won 35 seats in 1986, in a rare French experiment with proportional voting, according to France 24.
Ms Le Pen, who won her district in northern France, described the seats won as the most in the history of her party’s “political family”.
If the outcome is confirmed, Macron’s ability to pursue further reforms of the eurozone’s second-largest economy will depend on his ability to rally moderates outside his alliance to the right and left of his legislative agenda.
Macron, 44, became the first French president in 20 years to win a second term in April, but he presides over a deeply disenchanted and divided country where support for populist parties right and left has skyrocketed.
He had called for a strong mandate in a campaign waged against the backdrop of a war on Europe’s eastern fringes that has curbed food and energy supplies and fueled inflation, eroding family budgets.
Macron said ahead of the second round vote: “Nothing would be worse than adding French disorder to the disorder of the world.”
Melenchon’s Nupes alliance campaigned to freeze the prices of essential goods, lower the retirement age, cap inheritances and ban companies that pay dividends when laying off employees. He also called for disobedience to the European Union.
Macron’s political allies dismissed Melenchon as a “sinister agitator” who would devastate France.
Christophe Castaner, one of the ruling party’s leading lawmakers, derided his economic program as “full of Soviet-era clichés”.
According to early estimates, Nupes failed to secure a ruling majority, but it had stripped Mr Macron of the same majority and would become the largest opposition bloc in the Assembly.
If the French president and his allies miss an absolute majority by a wide margin, as early forecasts suggest, they could seek an alliance with the conservative Les Republicains or lead a minority government that has to negotiate laws in a case with other parties. case by case.