N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column
President Emmanuel Macron lost his absolute majority in the Assemblee Nationale. His coalition ‘Ensemble!’ won 245 seats, 100 down from the 345 in the outgoing chamber. Humiliating for President Macron was, that several heavyweights of his party lost their seats, including the speaker of the Assemblee Nationale Richard Ferrand and the former interior minister Christophe Castaner.
NUPES, an ad-hoc coalition of left, far left and green parties, led by Jean-Luc Melanchon, won 131 seats. A disappointing result for Melanchon, who expected to become the next French Prime-Minister. The winner was Marine le Pen’s far right Rassemblement National. She walked away with 89 seats, up from just 6. This result means that RN will be the biggest opposition party for Macron’s Ensemble! in the Assemblee Nationale.
The election results are likely to lead to months of negotiations as Macron has to seek allies among his rival parties. A potential partner could be the conservative Les Republicains, with a win of 61 seats. But several Republicains made clear already that they are not interested at all in an alliance with loser Macron. A nightmare scenario of five years parliamentary deadlock is not completely unthinkable.
Macron’s absence from the campaign trail was seen as a sign, that he didn’t really care about his electorate. With a disastrous effect for a president with an image of being overly arrogant.