Macron’s centrist alliance risks losing majority to left-wing coalition in first round of parliamentary election which saw less the HALF of eligible voters participate, poll says
- French President Emmanuel Macron has been hurt by a low voter turnout
- An Ipsos poll suggests he is neck-and-neck with left-wing alliance Nupes
- Less than half, 47 per cent, of voters headed to the voting booths today
Less than half of eligible voters bothered to vote in the first round of France‘s parliamentary election today, as Emmanuel Macron‘s bid for a majority in the National Assembly is challenged by a Left-Wing coalition.
A record abstention rate of almost 53% was estimated when polls closed at 8pm on Sunday, with Mr Macron’s party struggling to win a majority in the 577 seat National Assembly in Paris.
Instead, an Ipsos poll put Mr Macron’s centrist alliance, Ensemble (Together) neck-and-neck with a Left-Wing coalition known as the Nupes, for the New Popular Ecological and Social Union.
Both major coalitions were on 25.2% of the popular vote, which would translate to around 255 to 295 seats for Macron’s grouping, and 150 to 190 for the Left Wingers.
French President Emmanuel Macron (pictured entering the voting booth) was hurt by record low numbers in the first round of French parliamentary elections today according to a poll by Ipsos
Sunday’s first round saw more than 6000 candidates standing, and those who get the most votes will progress to the second round in a week’s time.
Mr Macron was re-elected President for a second five-year term in May, and now wants to push ahead with business-friendly tax cuts and a move to raise the retirement age from 62 to 65.
But the polls suggest the President and his allies may have trouble winning more than half of the parliamentary seats, so securing an absolute majority with 289 seats.
This will mean that Mr Macron’s En Marche ! (On The Move!) party will have to bargain with other parties to get legislation through.
Macron’s main opposition is the left-wing coalition Nupes, led by Julien Bayou (pictured casting his vote today)
The Nupes coalition is made up of greens, communists and other radicals led by hard-left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
If Mr Mélenchon’s grouping wins a majority, he will become Prime Minister – so forcing a difficult situation called ‘cohabitation’.
This will mean that France is run by a President who does not share the same ideology or manifesto as the Prime Minister.
Mr Mélenchon and his Leftists want to lower the retirement age and generally increase worker rights over big business.
The far-Right, led by Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party, is hoping to do better than five years ago, when it won just eight seats when it was called the National Front.
Sunday’s projection suggested the National Rally may win between 20 and 45 seats. It is hoping to win at least 15 seats this time round, so allowing it to form a parliamentary group.