France’s re-elected President Emmanuel Macron clearly missed the absolute majority in the National Assembly with his center camp, according to initial projections. In the final round of the parliamentary elections on Sunday, the Liberals came to 210 to 250 of the 577 seats. The new left alliance, led by left-wing politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon, will have between 150 and 180 seats in parliament. At least 289 seats are required for an absolute majority.
The result is a major blow to Macron, whose camp currently holds an absolute majority in the lower house of parliament. Normally, the parliamentary elections held shortly after the presidential election are seen as a confirmation, so that the same political force often wins with an absolute majority. The new left-wing alliance and Mélenchon, on the other hand, achieved enormous success, giving them more influence as the most powerful opposition group.
In the parliamentary elections, Macron was concerned with whether he would be able to implement his plans in his second term. For this he needed a majority in Parliament. Now with a relative majority, the president and government are forced to seek support from other camps. Depending on the project, they will seek to rely on centre-left or centre-right forces.
Even if many French people were dissatisfied with Macron’s first term in office, the 44-year-old benefited from the fact that the parliamentary elections in France were perceived as confirmation of the presidential election. Traditionally, supporters of the winner take part in the voting, while others often stay at home. Nevertheless, the left-wing alliance was able to mobilize enough supporters to make things difficult for the president.
Macron appealed to citizens on Tuesday before a trip to Romania and Ukraine to use their voting rights. “In these troubled times, the choice you make on Sunday is more important than ever,” he said. “Nothing would be worse than adding French chaos to the chaos of the world.”