In last Sunday’s French legislative elections to renew the National Assembly, the left-wing coalition Nouvelle Union populaire écologique et sociale (Nupes) led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon obtained a very similar percentage of votes to Ensemble !, the coalition of President Emmanuel Macron (which includes his party, La République en Marche), and could threaten its majority in parliament (Nupes also includes the Socialists). In recent weeks Ensemble! had been very worried about this possibility and after a rather weak start to the electoral campaign, its representatives had carried out a aggressive strategy made of intense attacks against Mélenchon.
In view of the second round which will take place in almost all the constituencies of the country (there are few that have elected a candidate in the first round), part of Macron’s coalition is continuing along this line: to avoid losing the majority, therefore logically especially of political convenience, La République en Marche (LRM) did not want to give a clear indication of voting in the cases of ballot between Nupes and Marine Le Pen’s far-right party. Several French newspapers have called it an “unprecedented fact”, which is creating some problems even within Macron’s own coalition.
In the first round, Nupes and Ensemble! they both got around 26 percent. Translated into parliamentary seats on the basis of the French electoral system (uninominal double round), it means that Ensemble! it could have between 255 and 295 deputies and Nupes between 150 and 190. The majority is 289: it is almost impossible that Nupes will reach it, but it is likely that he will be able to get enough votes to take it away from Macron.
The presidential majority, in fact, lost seven points compared to the 2017 legislative elections and two points compared to the vote for Macron in the presidential elections, which was held in April. Almost certainly La République en Marche will not retain an absolute majority, but neither could the coalition to which it belongs.
The second round to elect the 577 members of the French National Assembly will be held on Sunday 19 June and they are 61 the circumscriptions where a candidate or a candidate of the Nupes left-wing alliance will face a candidate of Rassemblement National, the party of Marine Le Pen. With respect to these situations, therefore, Macron’s coalition has not taken a clear position.
Some members of the coalition, including the secretary of La République en Marche Stanislas Guerini, have said that the ballot between the left and the extreme right will have to be decided “on a case-by-case basis”.
On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne asked the voters and the electricians to oppose “extremism”, pointing to the representatives of the far right and those of Nupes as a common enemy: “We will not yield to anything. Neither one way nor the other ». “I ask that the extreme left be blocked, whose real project is to create disorder and anarchy,” said the Minister for Ecological Transition Amélie de Montchalin. Former national education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, eliminated in the first round, said he believed “the far left is as much a danger as the far right” and former sports minister Roxana Maracineanu has called for a “Republican front against the extreme left”.
Other Ensemble exponents! defeated in the first round simply did not pronounce and many others appealed to leave the ballot blank. For now, only 6 Ensemble candidates! eliminated in the first round they clearly invited their constituents to transfer the vote to Nupes and to create a compact “republican front” against the far right. That is just 10 percent.
The new Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, also claimed the need to stop the far right: «Whatever the configuration, not a single vote should go to Rassemblement National. The fight against the far right is not a variable geometry principle ».
Le Monde has supposed that this declaration, made by a minister considered to the left and so far never intervened in the electoral campaign for the legislative elections, could have reminded Macron of the political position of a part of early macronism, and its anchorage on the left. Between the first and second round of the presidential elections (in April), the same president then made several appeals to create a republican front against the far right and against Marine Le Pen (the other candidate in the ballot): he had courted the voters and left-hand electricians and environmentalists, using different expressions of Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
In other words, Le Monde, as well as other French newspapers, highlighted the contradictions that emerged between April and today in the speech of Macron and the coalition that supports him. The set of very different positions within Ensemble! or the lack of clear positioning could end up penalizing the presidential coalition, some analysts wrote.
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Macron doesn’t want to choose between Le Pen’s far right and Mélenchon’s left – Il Post
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