French President Emmanuel Macron has lost control of the National Assembly in legislative elections after considerable gains by a newly formed left-wing alliance, and record wins by the far-right.
Projections by Ipsos pollsters, based on partial results, showed that Macron’s centrists would win about 234 seats – much less than the 289 required for an absolute majority in the National Assembly.
Macron’s Ensemble (Together) remains the biggest grouping in parliament, but suffered significant losses in what the media called a “crushing defeat” and an “earthquake”.
After five years of undisputed control of parliament, the recently re-elected Macron, now enters his second term facing uncertainty over how he will deliver domestic policies.
A historic alliance of parties on the left, led by the hard-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s France Unbowed party with the Socialists and the Greens, seemed poised to become the largest opposition group, with about 141 seats.
The most striking result of the night came for Marine Le Pen’s far-right, anti-immigration National Rally party, which was forecast to increase its seats from eight in 2017 to about 90 – a historic high for a party that in the past has struggled to make gains in the first-past-the-post parliamentary voting system.