Written by 12:04 World

Monday Briefing: Left Surges in French Election

A coalition of left-wing parties known as the New Popular Front was projected to come in first in legislative elections in France, capturing more seats in the National Assembly than the far-right National Rally party or the centrist Renaissance party of President Emmanuel Macron.

Projections based on preliminary results upended expectations of a clear victory for Marine Le Pen’s right-wing, anti-immigrant National Rally, which dominated the first round of voting a week ago.

Candidates across France dropped out of three-way races and called for unity against the National Rally. Now, it appears that the scramble by centrists and the left to form a “Republican front” to stymie the National Rally in the second round of voting worked.

The election was still a major blow to Macron, who lost more than a third of the seats held by his party and its allies. He is left with a deeply divided lower house of Parliament, no governing coalition immediately likely and the Paris Olympics set to open in less than three weeks. Sustained political deadlock is a distinct possibility.

The New Popular Front campaigned on raising the monthly minimum wage, lowering the legal retirement age, reintroducing a wealth tax and freezing the price of energy and gas. Instead of cutting immigration, as the National Rally vowed, the alliance said it would make the asylum process more generous and smooth.

Here is more about the New Popular Front, and this is why some rural voters became National Rally supporters.

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Last modified: 10 July 2024
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