Today's Paper Latest Primary runoff results Voter guide Sports Core Values Newsletters Weather Obits Puzzles Archive Story ideas iPad
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Macron projected to lose majority

French centrists still get most seats in vote; far-right surges by SYLVIE CORBET and THOMAS ADAMSON The Associated Press | June 20, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Noemie Rousseau leaves the voting booth in a polling station Sunday, June 19, 2022 in Strasbourg, eastern France. French voters are going to the polls in the final round of key parliamentary elections that will demonstrate how much legroom President Emmanuel Macron's party will be given to implement his ambitious domestic agenda. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

PARIS -- French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist alliance was projected to lose its majority despite getting the most seats in the final round of the parliamentary election Sunday, while the far-right National Rally appeared to have made big gains.

The projections, which are based on partial results, show that Macron's candidates would win between 200 and 250 seats -- much less than the 289 required to have a straight majority at the National Assembly, France's most powerful house of parliament.

The situation, which is unusual in France, is expected to make Macron's political maneuvering difficult if the projections are borne out.

A new coalition -- made up of the hard-left, the Socialists and the Greens -- is projected to become the main opposition force with about 150 to 200 seats.

National Rally is projected to register a huge surge with potentially more than 80 seats, up from eight before. Polling was held nationwide to select the 577 members of the National Assembly.

The strong performance of both the National Rally and the leftist coalition, led by hard-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, is expected to make it harder for Macron to implement the agenda he was reelected on in May, including tax cuts and raising France's retirement age from 62 to 65.

The National Rally's leader, Marine Le Pen, who lost to Macron in the presidential election in May, was reelected in her stronghold of Henin-Beaumont, in northern France.

"The Macron adventure has reached its end," Le Pen said. The group of National Rally lawmakers "will be by far the biggest of the history of our political family."

Acting National Rally president Jordan Bardella compared his party's showing to a "tsunami." "Tonight's message is that the French people made from Emmanuel Macron a minority president," he said on TF1 television.

"It's the electoral failure of Macronism," Melenchon said.

Macron's government will still have the ability to rule, but only by bargaining with legislators. The centrists could try to negotiate on a case-by-case basis with lawmakers from the center-left and from the conservative party -- with the goal of preventing opposition lawmakers from being numerous enough to reject the proposed measures.

The government could also occasionally use a special measure provided by the French Constitution to adopt a law without a vote.

Government spokesperson Olivia Gregoire said on France 2 television that "we've known better evenings."

"This is a disappointing top position, but still a top position," she said.

"We are holding out a helping hand to all those who are OK to make that country move forward," she said, notably referring to the Republicans party, which is expected to have less seats than the far-right.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who himself won a seat in his district in northern France, stressed Melenchon "lost his bet" to win the elections. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne also won a seat in western France.

These parliamentary elections have once again largely been defined by voter apathy -- with over half the electorate staying home.

Audrey Paillet, 19, who cast her ballot in Boussy-Saint-Antoine in southeastern Paris, was saddened so few people turned out.

"Some people have fought to vote. It is too bad that most of the young people don't do that," she said.

Macron made a powerfully choreographed plea to voters earlier this week from the tarmac ahead of a trip to Romania and Ukraine, warning an inconclusive election, or hung parliament, would put the nation in danger.

"In these troubled times, the choice you'll make this Sunday is more crucial than ever," he said Tuesday, with the presidential plane waiting starkly in the background ahead of a visit to French troops stationed near Ukraine. "Nothing would be worse than adding French disorder to the world's disorder," he said.

Some voters agreed, and argued against choosing candidates on the political extremes who have been gaining popularity. Others argued the French system, which grants broad power to the president, should give more voice to the multi-faceted parliament and function with more checks on the presidential Elysee palace and its occupant.

"I'm not afraid to have a National Assembly that's more split up among different parties. I'm hoping for a regime that's more parliamentarian and less presidential, like you can have in other countries," said Simon Nouis, an engineer voting in southern Paris.

Macron's failure to get a majority could have ramifications across Europe. Analysts predict the French leader will have to spend the rest of his term focusing more on his domestic agenda rather than his foreign policy.

Information for this article was contributed by Jade Le Deley and Jeffrey Schaeffer of The Associated Press.

  photo  French President Emmanuel Macron casts his ballot Sunday, June 19, 2022 in Le Touquet, northern France. French voters are going to the polls in the final round of key parliamentary elections that will demonstrate how much legroom President Emmanuel Macron's party will be given to implement his ambitious domestic agenda. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, Pool)
 
 
  photo  Hard-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, left, and Manuel Bompard leave after voting Sunday, June 19, 2022 in Marseille, southern France. French voters are going to the polls in the final round of key parliamentary elections that will demonstrate how much legroom President Emmanuel Macron's party will be given to implement his ambitious domestic agenda. (AP Photo)
 
 
  photo  A woman leaves the voting booth Sunday, June 19, 2022 in Souraide, southwestern France. French voters are going to the polls for the final round of key parliamentary elections that will demonstrate how much legroom the electorate are willing to give President Emmanuel Macron’s party to implement his ambitious domestic agenda. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)
 
 
  photo  A voting assistant uses a fan at a polling station Sunday, June 19, 2022 in Strasbourg, eastern France. French voters are going to the polls in the final round of key parliamentary elections that will demonstrate how much legroom President Emmanuel Macron's party will be given to implement his ambitious domestic agenda. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
 
 
  photo  A voter casts his ballot at a voting station in Paris, Sunday, June 19, 2022. French voters are going to the polls in the final round of key parliamentary elections that will demonstrate how much legroom President Emmanuel Macron's party will be given to implement his ambitious domestic agenda. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla)
 
 
  photo  A voter picks up ballots before voting in the second round of the French parliamentary election in Lyon, central France, Sunday, June 19, 2022. French voters are going to the polls in the final round of key parliamentary elections that will demonstrate how much legroom President Emmanuel Macron's party will be given to implement his ambitious domestic agenda. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
 
 
  photo  Hard-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon casts his ballot in a polling station Sunday, June 19, 2022 in Marseille. French voters are going to the polls in the final round of key parliamentary elections that will demonstrate how much legroom President Emmanuel Macron's party will be given to implement his ambitious domestic agenda. (AP Photo)
 
 
  photo  French President Emmanuel Macron leaves the voting booth Sunday, June 19, 2022 in Le Touquet, northern France. French voters are going to the polls in the final round of key parliamentary elections that will demonstrate how much legroom President Emmanuel Macron's party will be given to implement his ambitious domestic agenda. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, Pool)
 
 
  photo  Volunteers count ballots in a polling station Sunday, June 19, 2022 in Bischeim, outside Strasbourg, eastern France. French voters are going to the polls in the final round of key parliamentary elections that will demonstrate how much legroom President Emmanuel Macron's party will be given to implement his ambitious domestic agenda. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
 
 

Print Headline: Macron projected to lose majority

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsor Content

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT