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Tuesday Briefing: What Comes Next for France

French voters rejected a country dominated by the far right, but they now face a Parliament that is split and has an unclear path to a workable government.

Parliament was divided between left, right and center blocs, with none of them holding enough seats to achieve a majority. The New Popular Front, a coalition of left-wing parties, emerged with the most seats, followed by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Renaissance party and its allies. The far-right National Rally party finished third. These maps show how France voted.

My colleague Roger Cohen writes that it will take painstaking negotiations to eventually yield a viable government. France does not have a culture of such compromise and the muddle could take months to sort out. Macron yesterday asked his prime minister to remain in office “for the moment” in order to “assure the stability of the country.”

Possible scenarios: Macron could appoint a prime minister from outside his party and share power, but he has labeled the far-left and far-right parties too “extreme,” and other political groups have shown little appetite for working with him. Some analysts have suggested a broad coalition made up of parties within the three main blocs, but there appears to be little interest in working together. Here’s more on what could come next.

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Last modified: 10 July 2024
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