French President Emmanuel Macron has lost his majority in the National Assembly after a night which saw stunning gains for right-wing populist Marine Le Pen’s party.
Le Pen and her National Rally party turned 8 parliamentary seats into a whopping 88 while Macron’s Ensemble was reduced to 245 seats, well short of the 289 required to form a working majority.
National Rally can now form a parliamentary group for the first time since 1986 and wield significant influence on policy decisions for the first time in a generation.
“This parliamentary group will be by far the largest in the history of our political family,” said Le Pen while congratulating her supporters.
The group will act as “a firm opposition to Emmanuel Macron, without connivance, and respectful of the institutions,” she added.
Experts were stunned as to how Le Pen ended up winning 88 seats given that her party’s first round score suggested a significantly lower figure.
Mathieu Gallard, research director at Ipsos France, lamented how “blocking the extreme right at all costs no longer works at the local level: in the context of NUPES/RN face-offs, Ensemble voters abstained.”
French newspapers reacted to the result by asserting that France is now “ungovernable” after a political “earthquake” had occurred.
Macron’s Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne reacted badly by saying the proper functioning of democracy, which worked to hand Macron’s party a heavy blow, represented a “risk” for France.
“This situation represents a risk for our country, given the risks we’re facing nationally and internationally,” she said. “We will work as of tomorrow to build a working majority.”
Macron will also have to deal with far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who formed a coalition of leftist parties which ended up with them winning 131 seats.
While she didn’t go as hard on the issue as presidential rival Eric Zemmour, Marine Len Pen has spoke out against France’s inability to absorb huge numbers of migrants.
Back in 2020, she called for a national referendum in order to stop what she called the “submersion” of France via a “globalist” program of mass immigration.
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