France election results 2024: The left-wing New Popular Front alliance landed a shock success!

11:30 09.07.2024 •

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of New Popular Front.
Photo: AFP

In the minutes after the initial seat forecasts were announced, the far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon took to the stage in front of his jubilant supporters (photo). “[We] wrested a result that everyone said was impossible in a wonderful leap of civic spirit… The people have avoided the worst,” he said.

The left-wing New Popular Front alliance landed a shock success in the French legislative election Sunday night.

The left-wing alliance secured 188 seats in the National Assembly, according to official results. French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance is in second place with 161 seats. The far-right National Rally (RN) and its allies, which won by a clear margin in the first round, came in third with 142 seats, POLITICO informs.

The projected results mean that no party will obtain the 289 seats needed for an overall majority in the 577-seat assembly, setting the country of course for a hung parliament.

Questions remain following the left-wing New Popular Front’s surprise victory. The question of leadership inside the alliance is a key one.

The Socialists have less MPs than France Unbowed, but have nonetheless strengthened their presence in parliament and closed the gap with its radical partner LFI. It could hope to receive support from the Greens in a bid to stop France Unbowed from taking control.

In the first round of voting a week ago Le Pen’s National Rally came top and was aiming to secure the most seats in France’s legislature for the first time in the party’s history on Sunday. But tactical voting and collaboration between Le Pen’s opponents to keep her party out of power paid off, final results showed.

The election, however, looks set to throw the country into a period of political turmoil, with no single group coming close to winning enough seats for a majority in parliament.

President Emmanuel Macron gambled on a snap election after a stunning defeat in last month’s European Parliament election, promising “a clarification” he hoped would put the far right back in its box. Instead, he lost seats and landed France in greater uncertainty, POLITICO notes.

Macron’s own position as president was not at stake: He is due to remain in office until 2027. His Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has said he’ll offer to resign, though who could take over is far from clear.

After the first round of voting on June 30, Le Pen’s party was on course for its best ever election result and a majority in parliament.

But frantic political maneuvering in the days that followed saw Macron’s team and leaders of parties on the left muster their forces in a national effort to thwart the far right. Hundreds of candidates on the left and center of French politics pulled out of the contest to avoid splitting the anti-Le Pen vote.

Their initial aim was to stop Le Pen’s party winning an outright majority, which seemed a likely outcome a week ago. Instead their efforts handed the initiative to the other side of French politics, the left.

Attention will turn to who could become France’s next prime minister. Convention dictates that Macron will invite a politician from the largest grouping to take on the role. The president’s office said he would reflect on the results before taking “the necessary decisions.”

At the rally in the Northeast of Paris, Mélenchon demanded Macron appoint a prime minister from his left-wing coalition, known as the New Popular Front. “The president has the power and the duty to call the New Popular Front to govern. It is ready,” said Mélenchon, who leads the radical France Unbowed party.

The National Rally’s party president Jordan Bardella slammed what he called the “unnatural alliance” between Macron and the leftists “to stop by all means National Rally’s most important surge of its history.”

“These agreements now throw France into the arms of Jean-Luc Mélenchon,” Bardella said. “But we have doubled the number of our lawmakers, in the first steps towards a victory tomorrow,” he said, in a reference to the next presidential election in 2027.

French President Emmanuel Macron refused the resignation of the country’s prime minister, asking him on Monday to remain temporarily as the head of the government after chaotic election results left the government in limbo.

Photo: AP

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal (photo) had said he would remain in office if needed but offered his resignation Monday morning. Macron, who named him just seven months ago, immediately asked him to stay on “to ensure the stability of the country.” Macron’s top political allies joined the meeting with Attal at the presidential palace, which ended after about 90 minutes.

Attal on Sunday made clear that he disagreed with Macron’s decision to call the surprise elections. The results of two rounds of voting left no obvious path to form a government for either the leftist coalition that came in first, Macron’s centrist alliance, or the far right.


read more in our Telegram-channel