Macron’s parliamentary majority in jeopardy – AFP — Analysis

Election projections suggest that the French president’s coalition may fail to win majority control of the National Assembly

President Emmanuel Macron’s parliamentary alliance is reportedly projected to win the most votes in Sunday’s first round of voting, but it may fail to win enough seats to gain the majority needed to push through his legislative initiatives.

The centrist Ensemble alliance, backing Macron, and a far-left bloc were both projected to win about 25-26% of the popular votes in Sunday’s first-round parliamentary election, state-owned Agence-France Press reported. The National Rally party led by populist Marine Le Pen, whom Macron defeated in April’s presidential election, won an estimated 19% of Sunday’s votes.

Four polling companies project Ensemble to win between 225-310 parliament seats during the last round of voting, AFP reported. To win a majority of the 577-seat National Assembly, 289 seats will be required by Ensemble. Macron might have trouble getting lawmakers to adopt his agenda without a majority.

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NUPES, a left-wing alliance that has just been formed, is expected to win between 150 and 200 National Assembly seats. National Rally is expected to claim as many as 45 seats. NUPES, headed by leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon, opposes Macron’s plan to reform France’s pension system, instead calling for even more public spending by cutting the national retirement age to 60 from 62.

Macron calls for raising the eligibility age for full retirement pensions to 65 in order to keep the system financially sustainable. He would require another party to support his coalition against opposition from NUPES without a majority in parliament. That support won’t likely come from National Rally, as Le Pen has railed against Macron’s plan, calling a higher retirement age “unfair.”

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Sunday’s first-round election was plagued by record-low turnout, with fewer than half of registered voters casting a ballot, AFP said.  

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