What Happened in France’s shock election, and What’s next?

On Sunday night, joy: French voters, once again, kept the far right out of power. Monday morning, uncertainty: a hung parliament, a shaky coalition and the threat of tumultuous years ahead.

President Emmanuel Macron called France’s early parliamentary elections “clear” of the political situation. But after the aftermath of the second round of shocks, the waters are murkier than they have been for decades.

While a surge in support for the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) coalition ousted Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) party, French politics are now more chaotic than before the vote.

 After leading the first round of voting on Sunday, the RN was closer than ever to the door to power, and on the verge of forming France’s first far-right government since World War II comrade Vichy’s regime.

But after a week of political bargaining, in which more than 200 left-wing and centrist candidates withdrew from the second round to avoid splitting the vote, the NFP – a cluster of more moderate parties than the far-left – decided Qin emerged with the highest number of seats in the second round.

The NFP won 182 seats in the National Assembly, making it the single largest group in the 577-seat parliament. Macron’s centrist Ensemble coalition, which was third in the first round, made a strong comeback to win 163 seats. And the RN and its allies won 143 seats despite a lead in the first round.

Does this mean that NFP won the election? Absolutely not. Although the coalition has the most seats, it falls far short of the 289 seats needed for an absolute majority, meaning France now has a hung parliament. If it was a triumph of anything, it was the “cordon sanitaire,” the principle that mainstream parties must unite to prevent the far right from gaining power.

The French left-wing coalition defeated the far-right in the parliamentary election run-off.

The New Popular Front won the most seats but fell well short of the 289-seat threshold for an absolute majority. President Macron’s centrist Ensemble coalition is second behind Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally Party and its allies.

How will the Prime Minister be selected?

Prime Minister Gabriel Atal of Macron’s Renaissance Party announced he would resign. It was the honor of my life to be the Prime Minister. This evening, the political group I represent no longer has a majority, and tomorrow morning I will submit my resignation to the President,” he said after the results were announced.

With the Paris Olympics starting later this month, Atal will be in a caretaker role for a while.

The Prime Minister is appointed by the President. There is no specific timeline for Macron to appoint a new prime minister. “We may not see a prime minister nominated for a few days or a few weeks,” said Diane Viguenmont, a historian-turned-journalist based in Paris.

Macron is not bound to appoint a prime minister from the party with the most seats in parliament. He can technically appoint any of the parties as per his choice.

However, to form a viable coalition government, Macron would likely need to appoint a prime minister from the NFP, which won the most seats.

Melenchon has already called on the president to do so. He said that the wishes of the people should be strictly respected. No ‘management’ will be acceptable. The defeat of the President and his coalition is clearly assured. The president must admit his defeat.

No leader has yet been put forward by the Left as a possible prime minister.

Melenchon is an option, but he is likely to be unpopular with more moderate voters. Other options include former journalist and filmmaker Francois Ruffin, who is associated with France Inbud. Boris Vallad of the Socialist Party; Or neutral Laurent Berger.

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