Permalink ‘A seismic event’: Le Pen’s party makes historic breakthrough in French parliament

Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National (National Rally, or RN) made historic gains in Sunday’s French parliamentary election second round, on track to win 90 seats according to projections by Ipsos – a score way beyond the record gains polls predicted. Emmanuel Macron’s centrist bloc, meanwhile, underperformed polling expectations and fell well short of a majority – leaving a deal with conservative Les Républicains (LR) as his best hope for governing unencumbered. Nobody expected Le Pen’s party to win anything like 90 seats.

After a presidential campaign all about the distracting focus on the Ukraine war, Macron’s desire to drift to re-election and Le Pen’s submarine-like rise, it looked like the parliamentary election campaign was all about Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The radical leftist firebrand defied expectations and united France’s flagging, divided left behind his banner. Amid an otherwise lacklustre campaign, he created and rode momentum to put his NUPES (New Popular Union) alliance neck-and-neck with Macron’s centrist bloc in the first round. NUPES have indeed performed well – set to win 141 seats according to Ipsos projections, just months after the French left looked unpopular to the point of near irrelevance. However, it is far from radical leftist hopes of winning a National Assembly majority and forcing Macron into a state of “cohabitation” with Mélenchon as his prime minister.

Takeaways from the second round of France’s parliamentary elections (France24)
A big slap for the Macronie (The French Daily News)
France has the worst electoral system in the world (Peter Franklin)
Macron loses majority after punishment at polls plunging France into chaos (GB News)
Législatives françaises 2022 (RFI)


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