Supporters of France’s left-wing Nupes bloc celebrated on Sunday (June 19) as initial projections showed President Emmanuel Macron on course to lose his absolute majority in the National Assembly.
The French President’s centrist ‘Ensemble!’ alliance was set to end up with the most seats, the polls showed, followed by the Nupes bloc headed by the hard left veteran Jean-Luc Melenchon.
But the threshold for an absolute majority is 289 seats in the lower house, and the four pollsters’ projections showed Macron and his allies would fall well short of that.
“These results mean so much to me, there’s immense joy in seeing that Macron does not have an absolute majority,” said one Nupes supporter, 17-year-old Megane Cleopatre.
Another supporter of Melenchon, Brahim, said that this was an “exceptional” day.
“We have found a great man (Melenchon) for the government who will step into the prime minister’s office.”
Macron’s supporters expressed disappointment in the result, and raised concerns for the future.
“We don’t know what will happen next, what deals will take place. Will the parliament group be able to function or will they make compromises with other groups?” asked Clement.
The first projections by four pollsters showed Sunday’s election delivering a hung parliament.
If confirmed, a hung parliament would open up a period of political uncertainty that would require a degree of power-sharing among parties not experienced in France in recent decades, or else political paralysis and even possibly repeat elections.