Emmanuel Macron set to lose absolute majority, according to exit polls

Emmanuel Macron set to lose absolute majority, according to exit polls

Borne on Sunday said that her government will get to work from Monday to reach out to potential partners to rally a majority behind it and ensure stability in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy.

Macron became in April the first French president in two decades to win a second term, as voters rallied to keep the far-right out of power.

But, seen as out of touch by many voters, he presides over a deeply disenchanted and divided country where support for populist parties on the right and left has surged.

Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party won its largest ever representation in the lower house while a resurgent left-wing bloc, Nupes, headed by the hard-left Jean-Luc Melenchon will form the largest opposition force.

Hard-left leader Jean-Luc Melanchon delivering a speech at hizs election night head-quarters in Paris, Sunday night.

Hard-left leader Jean-Luc Melanchon delivering a speech at hizs election night head-quarters in Paris, Sunday night. Credit:PA

“The rout of the presidential party is complete,” Melenchon told supporters.

Even so, his own unlikely alliance may now find holding together harder than winning votes.

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After a first presidential mandate marked by a top-down government style that Macron himself compared to that of Jupiter, the almighty Roman god, the president will now have to learn the art of consensus-building.

“This culture of compromise is one we will have to adopt but we must do so around clear values, ideas and political projects for France,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

The historic success of France’s far-right, in which it increased its number of representatives tenfold cemented the party’s rise from fringe status to a mainstream opposition.

Since taking the helm of the party in 2011, leader Le Pen has sought to rid the National Rally (formerly the National Front) of the anti-Semitic image it acquired under the nearly 40-year leadership of her father, ex-paratrooper Jean- Marie Le Pen.

Securing 42 per cent in April’s presidential election, Le Pen had already tapped into the general disenchantment with Macron and identifying anger across the country over the rising cost of living and the decline of many rural communities.

“We have achieved our three objectives: that of making Emmanuel Macron a minority president, without control of power and that of pursuing the political recomposition essential to democratic renewal,” a triumphant Le Pen told reporters after being re-elected in northern France and vowing to be a respectful opposition.

Reuters

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