Seen from abroad. 2024 legislative elections: the left in the lead, the RN in decline, “a political miracle”

According to the first estimates at 8 p.m., the surprise is huge on the evening of the second round of the legislative elections in France: the New Popular Front is in the lead, with 172 to 192 seats, ahead of Ensemble-Renaissance (150-170 seats), the National Rally (132 to 152 seats) and the Republicans (57 to 67 seats), according to an Ipsos-Talan poll for France Télévisions. With a turnout that was up compared to Sunday, June 30, at 67.10% at 8 p.m.

Abroad, the reactions are unanimous. If the estimates are confirmed, exclaims the correspondent of the South German newspaper German on X, “France has just witnessed a political miracle.” That of the site The Local speaks of a “huge surprise”, And The Vanguardia of “unexpected turnaround”. “France said no to the far right”, notes in Madrid The Country. And in Berlin, we talk about “a dramatic turn of events in the French elections”. These are the words of colleague of the Spiegel. The journalist continues, however: “Macron and the left must learn what (France) does not know how to do and does not like to do: build coalitions and overcome divisions.”

This topic – governing in the presence of several major parties in the Assembly – has been a topic for several days. The three blocs that come out of the second round, without an absolute majority, are drawing a new map of the National Assembly. And perhaps announcing an ungovernable France.

This is the scenario that has been explored The evening, in Belgiumwho wondered what would happen if three blocks emerged. It would then be necessary to find “the ideal profile to lead this government that could not do much. Who would be the ‘French Mario Draghi’? wondered the Belgian daily. A Laurent Berger, a Jean Castex, a Bernard Cazeneuve? We would have to find the five-legged sheep. It is not a given. In this hypothesis, the pressure will be strong, especially from the RN and La France insoumise, to push the President of the Republic to resign.” But even this scenario would not unblock the situation. “If Emmanuel Macron were to resign, it would take a year before the Assembly could be dissolved again. We would be in a frozen situation.”

From Quebec, The duty returned, on the eve of the second round, to a coalition “plural” forces of the right, the center, the left. “An old dream of Emmanuel Macron, who mentioned a ‘grand coalition’ from his first campaign in 2017” in German. But “For the moment, on the left, only the national secretary of the Ecologists, Marine Tondelier, has shown interest, unlike the secretary of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, and the ecologist Sandrine Rousseau, who see it as an unnatural alliance. As for the Insoumis, they have affirmed, through their national coordinator, Manuel Bompard, that they ‘will only govern to implement their program. Nothing but their program’”, recalled the Montreal daily, which was also looking for the name of a potential Prime Minister.

The Spanish daily The Countrymore optimistic, wanted to believe that the grand coalition was “The Unexplored Path to Stop the Far Right”. Gold “What seemed impossible at the beginning of a campaign in which the three blocs, the extreme right, the centre and the left alliance, accused each other of everything, seems more and more viable (although still difficult), after the establishment of the cordon sanitaire for the second round.” “The centrist parties around President Macron, as well as certain left-wing parties (without the radical La France Insoumise) and even the traditional right of the Republicans, have timidly opened the door to this possibility in recent days.”

“The RN, the new great right-wing party”

Nevertheless, “In any case, if such a coalition were to see the light of day, it could not have an absolute majority anyway. It would therefore be vulnerable to a vote of censure since, if they obtain the expected results, LFI and the RN could together bring down this ‘plural’ government. whenever”, remember The duty.

“One thing is certain, unable to agree on immigration, security, nuclear power, economic policy and even the budget, this government could not undertake major reforms and would have to be content with minimal day-to-day management of the country. This, at a time when France has been downgraded by the rating agencies for uncontrolled debt and deficit. From there to saying that France will be ungovernable while waiting for a new dissolution or presidential elections, there is only one step that most observers take. And above all, such a union, if it were to see the light of day despite everything, would endorse the RN as the ‘only major opposition party and only force for change’” : the new big right-wing party, concludes The duty.

The New York Times he also looked into this scenario : “As things stand, no bloc seems able to find enough partners to form a majority, leaving Mr Macron with limited options.”

“French political culture does not encourage compromise, explains in the American daily Samy Benzina, professor of public law at the University of Poitiers, and to emphasize that French institutions are designed to produce “clear majorities capable of governing alone”. “This would be the first time under the Ve Republic that a government could not be formed due to the lack of a solid majority”he adds.

Another possibility would be to set up an interim government that would manage day-to-day affairs until a political breakthrough is achieved. But this would also constitute a break with French tradition. If neither solution works, the country could be heading for months of political deadlock, the New York Times.

The leap into the unknown

France is going through serious times, the foreign press observed even before the results were announced. This Sunday, for example, the German weekly noted The Time, “For many voters, this vote is a real act of desperation.” Again, as in previous elections, many citizens were forced to vote. “for people they still rejected politically until recently: they are not voting for a programme, but in the second round especially against Marine Le Pen”.

This adds to an already palpable tension in the country, worries The Guardian. France has not experienced such political tensions for decades. It has reached a historical moment from which it will not be able to easily escape.”

More information to come…

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