French Elections See Surprising Results as National Rally Wins Most Votes but Fewer Seats

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The results of the French legislative elections showed that President Emmanuel Macron’s alliance with the far-left effectively prevented the National Rally (RN) from gaining a majority, despite the party winning the most votes.

According to the French Interior Ministry, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally won over 8.7 million votes, equivalent to 32.05% of the total, making it the most popular party in the elections. When combined with its electoral alliance partners, including Les Républicains president Eric Ciotti, the right-wing bloc received over 10 million votes, accounting for 37.05% of the total.

In contrast, the New Popular Front alliance of communists, socialists, and environmentalists led by radical leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon received around 7 million votes, or 25.7% of the total, while Macron’s neo-liberal centrist coalition received 6.3 million votes, or 23.15% of the total.

Despite receiving fewer votes than the RN, the New Popular Front was awarded the most seats in the National Assembly, with an estimated 182 seats. Macron’s coalition won an estimated 168 seats, while the RN and its partners received the third most seats, with a projected 143.

The disparity between votes and seats was a result of the secret deal struck between Macron and the New Popular Front, in which each side agreed to withdraw from contested districts in favor of the candidate with the best chance of defeating the RN.

Just days before forming the alliance, Macron had warned that voting for either the National Rally or the New Popular Front would lead to “civil war,” sparking criticism about his willingness to partner with the leftist bloc after the first round of voting saw the RN surge.

The 28-year-old leader of the National Rally, Jordan Bardella, condemned the “alliance of dishonour” between Macron and the New Popular Front, which he claimed would “throw France into the arms of the far left of Jean-Luc Mélenchon.”

In a statement, former RN presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said: “Two years ago we had just seven MPs. Tonight RN is the first party in France in terms of MP numbers.”

Kurt Zindulka
Kurt Zindulka
Deputy Editor.

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