Less than two months after being re-elected as the French President, Emmanuel Macron has lost the majority in the French National Assembly severely denting his hopes of pushing through his promised reforms. Strong performances by the left alliance NUPES led by far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally Party in the elections have reduced Macron’s government to a minority in the national assembly.
Macron’s centrist coalition had more than 300 seats earlier and needed 289 seats to retain its majority in the national assembly. However, they fell well short with 245 seats in the election as several high-profile leaders, including Health Minister and Green Transition Minister lost. The election, which saw a very low voter turnout at 46.23%, has delivered a huge setback to Macron who will now have to rely on his opponents to get his reforms passed.
The left alliance NUPES has emerged as the main opposition winning 131 seats while Le Pen’s Rally Party has jumped from 8 to 89 seats. Macron will now have to negotiate with them and seek a compromise every time he wants to pass a bill through the parliament.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who was recently appointed by Macron, called the situation unprecedented and said that they will start working immediately to cobble together a working majority to try and ensure France doesn’t end up with a policy paralysis over the next 5 years.
The outcome has come as a big setback for Emmanuel Macron following his April presidential election victory when he defeated the far-right to be the first French president to win a second term in over two decades. Now he will have to deal with this unprecedented situation in French politics where he will have to run a minority government for the next 5 years.