French President Emmanuel Macron might have been relieved after getting reelected in April — but his second term in office just got a lot more complicated.
His Ensemble! alliance has lost its absolute parliamentary majority of five years following a second round of legislative elections.
“France is now facing the unsettling prospect of a period of prolonged political instability, while confronting an international crisis in Ukraine and the growing threat of an economic downturn at home,” Mujtaba Rahman, managing director for Europe at the consultancy group Eurasia, said in a note Sunday.
It was confirmed Monday morning that his centrist group secured 245 seats, falling short of the 289 needed to keep its dominance at the French National Assembly.
The next few hours — and likely days — will be dominated by political negotiations, with Ensemble! needing either a permanent or ad hoc partner to help it pass legislation.
The center-right political group Les Republicains could play a critical role in this, after winning 65 seats in parliament.
However, a coalition — an exception in France, which is usually led by one party — with the right could put pressure on the recently-appointed Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who’s perceived as too left-leaning by many on the right-wing of the political spectrum.
On the left, an alliance between the Greens and other leftist groups, known as Nupes, won 131 seats in parliament, making it the biggest opposition force in the chamber.
This group, led by Jean-Luc Melenchon who heads a far-left party and opposes France’s participation in NATO, performed better than expected. Nupes said Monday that it will put a vote of no confidence against the government on July 5, according to Reuters.
However, the view that France is shifting to the left was called into question by the performance of the far-right National Rally party, which increased its seats by six to a total of 89.