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The left was the winner of the legislative elections in France that ended this Sunday (7). The New Popular Front (NFP, in the French acronym) went against the polls, which pointed to a victory for the extreme right, and won 182 seats of the 577 in dispute for the National Assembly.

President Emmanuel Macron’s coalition, from the liberal right, was the second most voted, obtaining 168 seats in the House. The result represents a decline in the neoliberal policies of the “centrist”, who in the last legislative election elected 245 parliamentarians.

The far right, represented by Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN), won 143 seats. This is the highest number since the party was created in 1972. However, polls indicated that the party founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen would win an absolute majority for the first time, with 289 seats, or a relative majority in the French parliament.

In the first round, held on the last Sunday of June, on the 30th, the National Rally and the fascist dissident Republicans were the big winners. In the first round, Le Pen’s party and her protégé Jordan Bardella elected 39 deputies out of the 76 elected that day. The greatest result in its history, the RN spent the week between the two rounds leading all the polls of voting intentions, which did not guarantee that they would have an absolute majority in the plenary.

To prevent the polls from being confirmed, the left-wing bloc very quickly invoked the strategy known in France as the “cordon sanitaire”.

The NFP announced the withdrawal of 131 candidates with the lowest chance of winning the second round, in order to strengthen the Macronist bloc’s candidacy in constituencies where the RN could win. The presidential coalition also adopted the strategy, although with less intensity and conviction. In total, Juntos withdrew 82 candidacies.

In addition to the cordon sanitaire, another factor was important in preventing the far right from coming to power: the campaign to mobilize the French electorate.

According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, the second round counted 28.9 million voters (66.63%), a number slightly lower than in the first round, when 32.9 million (66.71%) went to the polls. The number of voters in the second round was the highest since 1997, when 71% of people eligible to vote participated in the elections.

The number for the second round is considered impressive considering that elections are never scheduled for the first week of the holidays.

“Tonight, the National Rally is far from obtaining the absolute majority as the commentators predicted a week ago,” said Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of France Insoumise (LFI, in its French acronym), the main party of the New Popular Front (NFP).

For the LFI leader, “the New Popular Front is ready to govern. It is the only constructed, coherent, united alternative, with an organized and budgeted program.”

For Mélenchon, Sunday’s result represents a defeat for President Macron, who must call on the NFP to govern the country.

“The defeat of the President of the Republic and his coalition is clearly confirmed. The President must bow down and admit this defeat without trying to get around it in any way,” stressed Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

In a disastrous move for his political group, President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the National Assembly in early June following a resounding victory for the far right in the European parliamentary elections.

Although the result was one of the biggest advances for the far right within the European bloc, the Brussels elections are known for having low turnout and not representing the totality of the population’s wishes. Even so, Macron declared that it was “time for clarification”.


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