France faces deadlock after left-wing alliance wins second round of election

The left-wing New Popular Front alliance has won 182 seats in the second round of the French parliamentary elections. This makes it the largest bloc in the new parliament, the final results showed on Monday morning.

With all the votes counted, the trends of the exit polls are confirmed. However, the NFP is still well short of a majority in the National Assembly, which has 577 seats.

Against expectations, Ensemble, president Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance, won 168 seats. The far-right National Rally (RN), which dominated the first round of voting last week, won 143. Opposition parties stood down their candidates in many constituencies to allow tactical voting against the far right in the run-off vote.

Prime minister Gabriel Attal announced he would resign on Monday, but it remains unclear who his successor will be. France is now facing a hung parliament, divided between three sizeable groups, unless the left can strike a deal with other parties.

'Tide is rising'

RN figurehead Marine Le Pen said a victory for her party had only been “delayed”, saying that her party was the largest in France.

“The tide is rising. It has not risen as much this time, but it keeps rising, and that is why our victory has merely been delayed,” she told French broadcaster TF1. “I have too much experience to be disappointed by a result where we doubled our number of MPs.”

"Enthusiasm in Paris, disappointment in Moscow, relief in Kyiv"

Several foreign government leaders and political leaders reacted with relief to the results.

“This week, two of the largest countries in Europe have chosen the same path that Spain chose a year ago: rejection of the extreme right and a decisive commitment to a social left that addresses people’s problems with serious and brave policies,” Spain’s Pedro Sanchez wrote on X. 

Polish prime minister Donald Tusk said he was “happy” with the result. “Enthusiasm in Paris, disappointment in Moscow, relief in Kyiv,” the former European Council president said. Late last year, he took power in Poland with a large pro-European centre coalition, ending the rule of national-populist PiS.


Founder of La France Insoumise Jean-Luc Melenchon (centre) delivers a speech alongside members of his party in Paris, 7 July 2024 © PHOTO SAMEER AL-DOUMY / AFP

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