The end of the Macron era leaves France weak, even in Europe

There is one certain news in the French election night: the era of Emanuel Macron is over. Buried by the voters who chose the RN and the left. Macron will remain in office until 2027 but at best he will be a weak president struggling with a variable or non-existent majority. At present, two possibilities are presented to the French political scenario.

The victory in the second round of the Lepenist right, the government of a new prime minister, Jordan Bardella, in cohabitation with Macron or the union of the centrists with the left could produce a narrow defeat for the right but at that point a scenario would open up difficult to decipher. Nobody would have an absolute majority, Macron would have to appoint a prime minister capable of seeking a compromise between the extreme left and the centrists. Two and a half years of chaos and blockade would become very likely.

The second round in a week will tell us two things, the first is whether the RN will have broken through the “cordon sanitaire”, making itself capable of gathering the consensus of part of the centrists and republicans, of obtaining an absolute majority and governing. It would be a crucial turning point in French and European history, one of those that mark a watershed moment. The RN would become very similar to the Italian right, capable of winning and going into government without the “republican fronts” of the adversaries being able to prevent it.

The second element is whether those who oppose the right will be able to find an electoral agreement to defeat it first and then to govern the country without leaving it in chaos and paving the way for a presidential election in 2027 that could become a very tough political battle. What emerges from the French vote is a picture of extremism on the political scene that will make the country more nervous, divided and ultimately weaker. And this risks being the legacy of Macron’s second term.