Elections in France: This Time Macron Is Really in Trouble

Political upheaval in France. The first round of the legislative elections was clearly won by the Rassemblement National of Jordan Bardellawhich, according to The Figaroobtained 34% of the votes: about 16 points more than in 2022. Second place went to the Nouveau Front Populaire of Jean-Luc Mélenchon: far-left formation, which stood at 29%. A poor result instead for the deployment of Emmanuel Macron, Ensemble, came third with 22%. A real debacle for the French president who, in addition to having lost around two million votes in the presidential elections two years ago, was also severely defeated in the European elections at the beginning of June. Without neglecting that, in the 2022 legislative elections, Ensemble placed first.

An even clearer defeat given the very high turnout figure. Macron had called the French to vote in the hope of making him the consensus of the abstentions. He was wrong.

Faced with the success of the Rassemblement National, the usual mechanism is now being triggered: that of the holy alliance. “In front of the Rassemblement National, the time has come for a broad, clearly democratic and republican union for the second round,” he declared Macron. Melenchon, for his part, has effectively announced a desistance pact with the French president’s party in view of next Sunday’s run-offs. “Our delivery is clear: not even one vote, not even one more seat for the Rassemblement National,” he said. The question at this point is: are we sure that the usual cordon sanitaire strategy will work this time too?

It should be underlined not only the historic result of the Rassemblement National, but also the very high turnout recorded, standing at 60% (the figure for the first round of 2022 was instead lower than 48%). Furthermore, Bardella seems to want to turn their own strategy against their opponents. The possible future prime minister in fact immediately pointed the finger at the danger embodied by the far left: an element that could make inroads even among voters who are not too close to the Rassemblement National. Let’s just think of the Gaullists, who collected 10%. Without forgetting that even among the supporters of Macron there are no great admirers of Mélenchon. Among other things, it is not certain that all voters are the same Melenchon they will appreciate the de facto desistance agreement signed with the tenant of the Elysée. It is therefore not automatic that the holy alliance works this time. A strategy that, if it fails, could even lead Macron to seriously consider the possibility of resignation.

Certainly the gamble of dissolving the National Assembly after the European defeat proved to be wrong, indeed, perhaps even deadly for President Macron.