Macron’s alliance leading projected seat count in French election but chasing absolute majority

French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist coalition is expected to hold a parliamentary majority after the first round of voting, according to projections on Sunday.

Projections based on the partial results of the election show that at the national level, Macron’s party and its allies receive between 25 and 26 percent of the vote. They have stood shoulder to shoulder with a new left-wing coalition of hardline, left-wing Socialist and Green Party supporters.

However, Macron’s candidates are projected to win more districts than their leftist rivals, giving the president a majority.

More than 6,000 candidates ran for 577 seats in the French National Assembly in the first round of the election.

The two-round voting system is complex and disproportionate to national support for one party. For races without a decisive winner on Sunday, up to four candidates will compete in a second round of voting on June 19.

A voter casts his ballot in Marseille, southern France, on Sunday. (Daniel Cole / The Associated Press)

Consumer concerns about rising inflation dominated the campaign, but voter enthusiasm cooled. That was reflected in Sunday’s turnout, showing that less than half of France’s 48.7 million voters cast their ballots.

Leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who had hoped the election would land him prime minister, was among a small number of voters as he cast his ballot in the southern port city of Marseille.

On the opposite coast of France, a small crowd gathered to watch Macron as he went to vote in the British Channel resort town of Le Touquet.

After Macron’s re-election in May, his centrist coalition is looking for an absolute majority so it can deliver on his campaign promises, including cutting taxes and raising France’s retirement age from 62. up 65.

However, Sunday’s forecast suggests that Macron’s party and its allies may struggle to win more than half of the seats in Parliament this time around. A government with a large but not absolute majority can still rule but will have to seek support from opposition legislators.

Leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon speaks to supporters in Marseille on Sunday. (Daniel Cole / The Associated Press)

Polling agencies estimate that Macron’s centrists could win between 255 and more than 300 seats, while Mélenchon’s left-wing coalition could win more than 200. Congress has the final say over the Senate when it comes to laws.

Mélenchon’s background includes a substantial minimum wage increase, lowering the retirement age to 60, and locking in energy prices, which have skyrocketed due to the war in Ukraine. He is an anti-globalizer who has called on France to withdraw from NATO and “disobey” the rules of the European Union.

Macron defeated far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the presidential race, and France’s parliamentary elections have traditionally been an uphill race for far-right candidates. Opponents from other parties tend to coordinate or sidestep to increase their chances of defeating far-right candidates in the second round of voting.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen leaves the polling station in Hénin-Beaumont, northern France, on Sunday. (Michel Springer / The Associated Press)

Le Pen’s far-right National Rally hopes to do better than it did five years ago, when it won eight seats. With at least 15 seats, the far right will be allowed to form parliamentary groups and gain greater power in Parliament.

Le Pen herself is also a candidate for re-election in her stronghold of Hénin-Beaumont, northern France, where she cast her ballot on Sunday.

Outside a polling station in a working-class neighborhood in Paris, voters debated whether to support Macron’s party for the sake of smooth governance and holding extremist views, or in favor of Macron’s party. his opponents to ensure that more political views are heard.

Retired scientist Dominique Debarre said: “When you have a parliament that is not entirely aligned with government, that allows for more interesting conversations and discussions. “But on the other hand, cohabitation [a split political situation] In some way, always a sign of failure. “

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