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Left wins French election but misses absolute majority

Left wins French election but misses absolute majority
Left wins French election but misses absolute majority

Surprise in France: The left-wing coalition unexpectedly leads the parliamentary elections. Marine Le Pen’s right-wing nationalists could only come in third. What does that mean for the next government?

According to initial projections, the left-wing alliance is surprisingly ahead in the parliamentary elections in France. The right-wing nationalist Rassemblement National could therefore only come in third place behind the centrist camp of President Emmanuel Macron, as the broadcasters TF1 and France 2 reported after the polls closed. Neither camp is likely to achieve an absolute majority of 289 seats.

According to the figures, the left-wing alliance Nouveau Front Populaire could win 172 to 215 of the 577 seats, Macron’s forces 150 to 180 and the Rassemblement National (RN) around Marine Le Pen and his allies 120 to 152.

Surprising election result in France

The result is a big surprise. After the first round of voting a week ago, forecasts had the RN just short of an absolute majority and thus possibly in a position to form the next government. The shift to the right is now smaller than expected.

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What will happen next is unclear for the time being. The result will give rise to various future scenarios. The left could try to get support from the centrist forces – either as a minority government with tolerance or in a kind of grand coalition. Given the opposing political orientations, however, it is not clear whether this could succeed.

It is unclear whether President Macron would be politically compelled to appoint a prime minister from the ranks of the left in such a scenario. The National Assembly can overthrow the government.

If there were a prime minister from the left, Macron would have to share power. The prime minister would become more important. What this would mean for Germany and Europe is unclear. The left-wing alliance is divided and represents very different positions on many major political issues.

If neither camp can find a government majority, the current government could remain in office as a transitional government or a government of experts could be installed. In such a scenario, France is at risk of political deadlock.

Transparency note: This article has been updated.

Source: Stern

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