‘A risk to our country’ says French PM, as Macron loses absolute majority

Emmanuel Macron’s Ensemble alliance has lost its absolute majority in the French National Assembly, just two months after he was re-elected as president. 

At the end of the second round of elections on Sunday Macron’s candidates won 245 seats, ahead of the left-wing coalition Nupes and the far-right National Rally which made an historic breakthrough of 89 seats. 

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the “unprecedented” situation “is a risk to our country faced with challenges at the national level as well as at the international scale.” Borne, who was only appointed in May, will face a “a motion of censure” from the opposition in early July and her job is not secure having scraped a narrow win in her own constituency.  

Emmanuel Macron now faces the realities of a National Assembly with two hostile opposition groups as he tries to push through important reforms – including on pensions, tax cuts and raising the retirement age – and he’ll need a coalition partner to get it done. 

“We will have to show a lot of imagination” to govern, admitted Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Opposition reaction

Veteran left-wing politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon built an alliance of socialist and green parties to challenge Macron and his efforts appear to have paid off. 

Addressing hundreds of supports on Sunday night in Paris he said “I hope you’re into it. All of a sudden, you felt that your fingertips were tingling? It’s that history is passing you by,” he said. The crows responded “It tingles, it tingles!

Two hundred kilometres from Paris, Marine Le Pen was holding her party’s celebration in a bowling alley. When it became clear they had achieved 90 seats in the National Assembly, up from just eight before, supporters cheered “Vive Marine,” and “Macron resign!” 

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