France voted Sunday in the second round of legislative elections in which a new left-wing alliance threatened President Emmanuel Macron’s majority in the National Assembly, the country’s lower house of parliament.
Voters lined up at Neuilly Plaisance’s town hall, shopping trolleys following. After casting their ballots, their next stop was the bakery and Sunday market to finish their messages.
Gregory, an electrician in this eastern suburb of Paris, cast his ballot for France’s new left-wing coalition, known as NUPES. He said French President Emmanuel Macron was breaking everything the country had worked for in terms of social and environmental issues.
Voting polls suggested Macron’s centrist alliance, Ensemble, or Together, would earn the majority of the vote – but not necessarily a ruling majority. The NUPES were hoping for a troubled victory that would force Macron to elect its leader, far-left politician Jean-Luc Melenchon, as prime minister.
Michelle, another Neuilly Plaisance voter, said she believes that scenario would be a disaster. Definitely not the NUPES, she said. If they win, France will be in a mess.
The retired Raymond gave a similar reaction. He said he doubted the feasibility of programs being pushed by the left-wing coalition. “Where’s the money to pay for them?” he asked.
Macron won a second term against his far-right rival Marine Le Pen just two months ago. But the abstinence rate was high, and many French were overwhelmed by their president. Some criticized Macron for not campaigning enough for this crucial parliamentary vote, where his main rival this time was the far left.
These elections for the powerful National Assembly, or House of Representatives, will be critical in determining whether Macron can push through fiscal and retirement reforms that characterize his second term agenda. The NUPES coalition has promised to block them and impose stricter environmental policies.
Like the presidential election in April, these legislative elections were also marked by high voter turnout.
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