Written by 02:00 World

France Could Be Headed for Political Gridlock After Election

France could be headed for sustained political deadlock after no party or alliance of parties appeared to have won an absolute majority of parliamentary seats, according to projections by French polling institutes based on preliminary results.

The immediate way forward is unclear, experts said, but the country could be headed for months of political instability, with President Emmanuel Macron facing a deeply divided Parliament, including two blocs firmly opposed to him.

“Without an absolute majority, the government will be at the mercy of opposition parties banding together” to topple it, said Dominique Rousseau, an emeritus professor of public law at the Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

The projections suggested that the National Assembly, France’s lower house of Parliament, will be roughly divided into three main blocs with conflicting agendas and, in some cases, deep animosity toward one another.

Pollster projections released Sunday night after polls closed in the final round of legislative elections indicated that a group of left-wing parties called the New Popular Front would win the most seats, followed by Mr. Macron’s centrist alliance and the nationalist, anti-immigration National Rally. It was not clear whether the centrists or the right-wing National Rally would be the second-largest bloc.

As it stands, none of the three major blocs appears able to work with the others. Each could try to cobble together a working majority with the smattering of smaller parties or independent lawmakers that will take up the rest of the lower house’s seats. But their ability to do so is uncertain.

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Last modified: 8 July 2024
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