France seeks way out of political ‘fog’ after far right defeat


President Emmanuel Macron Initiates Efforts to Navigate France’s Political Uncertainty Post-Election
On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron began addressing the most significant political uncertainty France has faced in decades after the left defeated the far right in elections, resulting in no group securing an absolute majority.
The legislative election results, which were called by Macron three years early to reshape the political landscape, leave France without a clear path to forming a new government just three weeks before the Paris Olympics.
Prime Minister Gabriel Attal is set to submit his resignation to Macron on Monday, though he has indicated his readiness to remain in a caretaker role as the country faces weeks of political uncertainty.
The left is emerging as the largest group in the new parliament but has not yet agreed on a candidate for the prime minister position.
This unprecedented situation arises as Macron is due to be out of the country for most of the week, attending the NATO summit in Washington.
“Is this the biggest crisis of the Fifth Republic?” asked Gael Sliman, president of the Odoxa polling group. “Emmanuel Macron wanted clarification with the dissolution; now we are in total uncertainty. A very thick fog.”
### Divided Parliament
The far-right National Rally (RN) of Marine Le Pen, despite a clear margin in the first round on June 30, faced disappointing results. Nonetheless, they are set to have their largest-ever contingent in parliament.
Macron’s centrist alliance will have fewer members of parliament but performed better than expected and could potentially end up in second place.
The left-wing New Popular Front (NFP), formed last month after Macron called snap elections, united the previously divided Socialists, Greens, Communists, and the hard-left France Unbowed (LFI) into one camp.
Major polling agencies project the NFP to be the largest bloc in the new National Assembly with 177 to 198 seats, Macron’s alliance with 152 to 169 seats, and the RN with 135 to 145 seats. This leaves no group near the 289 seats needed for an absolute majority, creating uncertainty about how a new government will be formed.
Macron has yet to publicly comment on the projections but is calling for “prudence and analysis of the results,” according to an aide who requested anonymity.
LFI lawmaker Clementine Autain has called on the NFP alliance to meet on Monday to select a prime minister candidate.
In individual contests, Le Pen’s sister Marie-Caroline narrowly lost her bid to become a lawmaker, while former president Francois Hollande will return to frontline politics as a Socialist member of parliament.
Jean-Luc Melenchon, the firebrand leftist leader of LFI and the controversial figurehead of the NFP coalition, demanded that the left be allowed to form a government. 
Some polls a week ago suggested the RN could win an absolute majority with Le Pen’s 28-year-old lieutenant, Jordan Bardella, becoming prime minister. However, Bardella expressed his anger, dubbing the local electoral pacts that saw the left and centrists avoid splitting the anti-RN vote as an “alliance of dishonor,” claiming it had handed “France into the arms of Jean-Luc Melenchon’s extreme left.”
Le Pen, who intends to launch a fourth bid for the presidency in 2027, declared: “The tide is rising. It did not rise high enough this time, but it continues to rise and, consequently, our victory has only been delayed.”
More than 200 tactical-voting pacts between center and left-wing candidates in the first round aimed to prevent the RN from winning an absolute majority. This has been hailed as a revival of the anti-far right “Republican Front” first invoked when Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie, faced Jacques Chirac in the 2002 presidential run-off.
The question now is whether this last-resort alliance can support a stable government, especially with a substantial RN bloc in parliament led by Le Pen as she prepares for a 2027 presidential bid.
Risk analysis firm Eurasia Group noted there is “no obvious governing majority” in the new parliament. “It may take many weeks to resolve the muddle while the present government manages current business.”

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