French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday lost his majority in Parliament after significant electoral gains in the newly formed right-wing coalition and an actual collision in his plans for a primary second term.
The result was turmoil in French politics, raising hopes of a crippled legislature or dirty alliances with Macron forced to reach new partners.
Macron, 44, is now at risk of being disrupted by domestic violence as he seeks to play a vital role in ending Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and as a key EU official.
Macron’s coalition “Together” would be the largest party in the next National Assembly. But with 234 seats, according to the results of the 97% vote-based internal affairs, it will be far short of the 289 seats needed by the majority in the 577 members’ chamber.
“This situation is a threat to our country, given the challenges we face,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said in a televised address, vowing: “We will work from tomorrow to build a working majority.”
The result was a significant blow to Macron’s victory in the April presidential election when he defeated the right to be France’s first president to win a second term in two decades.
“It is a time of change for his image of invincibility,” said Bruno Castres, a Political Science Research Institute researcher.
The new 70-year-old NUPES left-wing coalition strongman Jean-Luc Melenchon won 124 seats, according to 97 percent of the vote.
The coalition, formed in May after a split left in the April presidential election, includes Socialists, hard left, Communists, and vegetarians.
Melenchon called Sunday’s results “above all election failures” in Macron.
“The presidential debate is over, and there will be no majority,” in Parliament, he told supporters in Paris.
A prominent Member of Parliament for Melenchon’s party, Alexis Corbiere, said the result meant that Macron’s plan to raise France’s retirement age to 65 was “drowned.”
Far right-wing leader Marine Le Pen of the National Rally was also running for the top eight seats in the outgoing National Assembly.
It has already sent 89 members to the new Parliament, in part. As a result, making it the largest parliamentary rights group before the traditional right, The Republicans (LR).
Le Pen hailed the landmark effect on his party, saying it would send “a high number” of members of Parliament to the next National Assembly.
Macron hoped to complete his second term with a plan to reduce taxes, social reform, and increase the retirement age. All that is now being questioned.
“This will make the transition difficult … It will be complicated to manage,” said Dominique Rousseau, a law professor at the Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne University.
“Slap,” said an article in Monday’s Left Liberation magazine, adding that the results represented a “collapse” of Macron’s rule.
There may be weeks of tensions over the political situation as the president seeks to reach out to new parties.
The most likely option would be a coalition with the Republicans, a traditional French rights group, to date with 61 membersParliamentment.
LR president Christian Jacob has made it clear that there will be no easy coalition, saying his party intends to “always oppose”.
Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has denied that France will not rule but acknowledged that “it will require a lot of thought” from the ruling party “in an unprecedented situation”.
Macron called on voters to give his coalition a “strong majority” last week, adding that “nothing would be as bad as adding to France’s turbulent globalization”.
Three priests fell
In another case, key ministers representing the elections are said to be losing their jobs under a conference that they must resign if they fail to secure seats.
Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon, Marine Minister Justine Benin and Minister of Environment Amelie de Montchalin, the pillar of Macron’s administration over the years have all disappeared and will now be out of government.
Two other close associates of Macron, Speaker Richard Ferrand and former interior minister Christophe Castaner, have both admitted losing their seats.
In the rare good news for the president, European Minister Clement Beaune and Minister of Public Works Stanislas Guerini, both pillars of his party, have won strong battles for their seats.