Right-Wing Disappoints In French Elections After Collusion By Left, Center
France's President Emmanuel Macron (C), flanked by his wife Brigitte Macron (L), stands in a polling booth, adorned with curtains displaying the colors of the flag of France, to vote in the second round of France's legislative election at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France on July 7, 2024. France votes in legislative elections on July 7, 2024 that will be decisive in determining its political future and could see the far right become the largest party in parliament for the first time. (Photo by MOHAMMED BADRA / POOL / AFP)
MOHAMMED BADRA / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

The left in France surged to victory in parliamentary elections over the weekend in a shock performance after weeks of surging momentum for the country’s right wing.

The New Popular Front coalition in France is made up of communists, socialists, and greens. The alliance was propelled to victory in the election over the National Rally, France’s right-wing faction, after centrists partnered with the left to block National Rally candidates.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who leads the centrist coalition Ensemble, worked with the New Popular Front to withdraw 200 candidates from races across France, urging support to consolidate support behind the remaining centrist or left-wing candidate. National Rally leader Jordan Bardella expressed bitter disappointment in the tactic, according to CNN.

The election left all three political power centers – New Popular Front, Ensemble, and National Rally – without a majority in parliament, setting up a chaotic and fractious environment where governing may be extraordinarily difficult.

“It’s not possible to govern France if you don’t have 240 to 250 lawmakers,” MP Sylvain Maillard, a member of Macron’s Renaissance party, told Politico Europe. “I was president of the Renaissance group with a coalition of 250 members of parliament and it was already very complicated.”

The New Popular Front coalition won 182 seats, the largest share of any group. Macron’s Ensemble lost seats and ended with 163, while National Rally and its allies surged from 89 seats in 2022 to 143 seats, a sizable gain but far short of the majority that many expected National Rally to win.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, a member of Renaissance, announced he would be resigning his prime ministership on the heels of the election.

“Faithful to the Republican tradition and in accordance with my principles, tomorrow morning I will submit my resignation to the president of the Republic,” Attal said Sunday, according to a CNBC translation of his remarks. “I know that, in light of the results of this evening, many French people feel a certain uncertainty about the future, as no absolute majority has emerged [in parliament]. Our country is experiencing an unprecedented political situation.”

Riots erupted across France after the election’s outcome started to materialize in early predictions. Officials deployed roughly 30,000 riot police across the country to handle unrest as crowds of people took to the streets, according to the Daily Mail.

In videos of the unrest posted to social media, some were seen celebrating the left-wing victory. In one video, a woman shouts, “We beat you!” In another, a man says, “You lost, the left is too strong. We have love, we are celebrating, and we have joy. And you, you have hatred, we are too strong,” according to The Daily Caller.

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