France: Resurgent Right, Resurgent Left, Stagnating Neoliberal Centrists-- Sound Familiar?

Macron had a solid victory in the presidential runoff election on April 24 against fascist Marine Le Pen. He beat her 18,768,639 (58.55%) to 13,288,686 (41.45%). Two weeks earlier, in the first round, far more people voted and Macron led with 27.85%, with LePen at 23.15%. There were 10 other candidates, the only one coming close being leftist Jean-Luc Antoine Pierre Mélenchon with 21.95%. These were how the other candidates fared in the first round:

  • Éric Zemmour (fascist)- 7.07%-- endorsed Le Pen

  • Valérie Pécresse (centrist)- 4.78%-- endorsed Macron

  • Yannick Jadot (Green)- 4.63%-- endorsed Macron

  • Jean Lassalle (centrist)- 3.13%-- no endorsement

  • Fabien Roussel (Communist)- 2.28%-- against Le Pen

  • Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (center-right)- 2.06%-- endorsed Le Pen

  • Anne Hidalgo (Socialist)- 1.75%-- endorsed Macron

  • Philippe Poutou (leftist)- 0.77%-- against Le Pen

  • Nathalie Arthoud (leftist)- 0.56%-- no endorsement

Mélenchon urged his supporters to vote against Le Pen. Notably, then 6 leftist parties combined got 31.95% of the vote, significantly more than Le Pen or Macron. The left united in the parliamentary elections under the NUPES banner behind Mélenchon, winning 131 seats. Mélenchon called the results "above all an electoral failure" for Macron and his neoliberal policy agenda. "The rout of the presidential party is total and there will be no majority." Macron, for example, will not have the votes needed to raise the retirement age-- which is a big part of the reason so many votes turned away from him.

Yesterday, Macron lost his parliamentary majority in round 2 of the low turnout parliamentary elections after just 5 deputies won outright majorities in round one (4 NUPES and one from Macron's party). With 289 seats needed for a majority in the 577-member lower house, Macron's party won 245 seats, far fewer than needed. Le Pen's fascist party will be going from just 8 seats to 89 seats. Presumably, Macron will reach out the to Republicans, another centrist, albeit further right, party like his own, which won 61 seats.

Last night, reported that "Millions of Mélenchon voters cast their ballots for Macron in the présidentielles second round to keep Le Pen out of power-- showing it was a vast exaggeration to assume that voters for the extreme left would flock to the extreme right out of a desire to tear down the status quo, as embodied by Macron in their eyes. Nevertheless, this time it looks as if a significant number of NUPES voters switched to the far right in RN-Ensemble face offs, Paul Smith said: 'The simple explanation for RN’s success tonight is that this was an anti-Macron bloc. My suspicion is that, even though Mélenchon said not one of his supporters should vote for Le Pen, quite a lot of them did. It’s clear that hatred of Macron is sufficiently intense for a lot of NUPES voters to be able to vote for RN.'"