Macron’s fate uncertain as left wing clinches surprise win in France elections

The New Popular Front (NPF), a leftist coalition, has won the most seats in the French parliamentary elections.

France’s interior ministry confirmed the final results of Sunday’s election which saw a 66.63 percent voter turnout.

With 182 seats, the NPF had the largest share while President Emmanuel Macron’s Ensemble Party won 163 seats.

The far-right National Rally (RN) led by Marine Le Pen had 143 seats.

The RN was tipped to emerge as the dominant force in French politics after a resounding victory in the first round of the polls, stirring mixed feelings that France was on the cusp of electing its first far-right government since World War II.

But Sunday’s results came as a huge upset.

This also means no party has won the required 289 seats for an absolute majority and could plunge France into more political uncertainty as parliament is likely to be polarised.

The NPF is made up of several parties and was formed just days after Macron called a snap parliamentary election.

Unable to call a new election for at least another year, and with three years left of his term, Macron looks set to preside over an unruly parliament.

Earlier on Monday, Gabriel Attal, prime minister and Macron’s protege, tendered his resignation.

However, Macron refused to grant the prime minister permission and asked him to remain in office temporarily “in order to ensure the country’s stability”.

The president is said to be “waiting for the national assembly to organise itself” before he takes a decision on who will replace Attal.

Macron, whose tenure still runs for three more years, would retain the lead role on defence as commander-in-chief and on foreign policy, but would forfeit the power to set domestic policy — from economic decisions to security.

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