France celebrates today the second round of its legislative elections with more certainties than uncertainties. It is certain that three large groups, two of them extreme, will concentrate the vote, and that the balance of forces will change in an Assembly previously dominated by the president, Emmanuel Macron. This will be divided into three blocks: macronistas, melenchonistas and lepenistas. Macron, whether or not he achieves an absolute majority, will come out of this election weakened and will have to balance these five years in office to carry out his reforms.
The little that is not known and that the polls will resolve is whether he will achieve that majority, threatened by the advance of the left-wing coalition led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Nupes. It will become the main opposition force while Marine Le Pen’s extreme right could get enough support to form a political group, something that has not happened since 1988.
The ghost of an ungovernable France hovers on an election day in which record abstention is expected, even higher than that of the first round last Sunday, when 52% of French people did not vote. The heat wave that France has been experiencing since Friday does not make a greater participation foreseeable.
If the deputies of Macron’s alliance (Ensemble) do not achieve an absolute majority, it will be difficult for him to carry out his program, since he will find constant blockades on his projects. It would be the first time since 2002 that a newly elected president has not dominated the Assembly. The legislative elections are held just after the presidential ones precisely so that there is coherence in the polls and the parliamentary forces are aligned with the Elysee.
That Macron ceases to dominate Parliament reveals that part of the 58% of French people who voted for him in the second round of the presidential elections did so out of obligation, so as not to see Le Pen in the Elysee, but he did not want to endorse him this time.
According to the projection of seats from the polls, the Macronist coalition would have between 270 and 300 deputies out of a total of 577. It needs 289 to dominate Parliament. Nupes would have between 160 and 190 seats and Le Pen’s National Rally between 25 and 45 seats.
Accustomed to dominating everything, it is most likely that Macron will have to refine his role as a tightrope walker, unknown until now, to agree with other forces and deputies if he wants to carry out his laws. He could look for allies in the Republicans, a party that suffered a historic blow in the presidential elections, but within the entire parliamentary arc they have a more similar sensibility.
After the legislative this Sunday there will also be a remodeling of the Government, since the ministers who appear and do not win will have to resign. Of the 15 that opt for a seat in different constituencies, there are several that start with a disadvantage and could be eliminated by their rivals from Nupes.
Aware of the mandate that awaits him, Macron has dramatized these days asking for support to achieve a majority, because “we cannot add a disorder in France to a world disorder.”
The least likely scenario of all is that Mélenchon’s coalition obtains an absolute majority. No poll contemplates it but the leftist leader, in an attempt to mobilize voters, continues to insist on that possibility, which will also allow him to become prime minister. With today’s appointment, France closes a 10-week electoral period in which voters have voted four times.
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