Populism Rising: Le Pen Makes Historic Gains, as Macron Loses Majority

Roundly rebuking his neo-liberal globalist political philosophy, the French public has refused to grant President Emmanuel Macron a parliamentary majority as Marine Le Pen’s populists on the right and an ecological alliance on the left surged at the ballot box to strip the once self-described ‘Jupitarean’ leader of his ability to govern France firmly.

Just under two months after securing a second term as President of France, Emmanuel Macron and his Ensemble! coalition have suffered a disastrous result in the final round of voting in the parliamentary elections on Sunday, securing just 245 seats, far short of the 289 necessary to maintain a governing majority and at the low end of polling projections leading up to the vote.

The night’s true victor — at least in terms of exceeding expectations — was perhaps Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN), which saw a surprising result of 89 candidates elected to the National Assembly, the most in the history of the party, including its predecessor National Front. Le Pen’s party, which previously only boasted eight representatives, will now have enough representation to form a parliamentary group, providing a major boost to the party in terms of prominence in the national discussion and the ability to fundraise.

Prior to the second and final round of voting on Sunday, posters had estimated that RN would win between 25 and 45 seats, suggesting that anti-Macron sentiment was strong enough to convince left-wing voters to side with Le Pen to prevent the neoliberal president from retaining his grip over the parliament.

Hailing the stunning result for her party, the populist firebrand said: “This victory is that of the French people. Tonight, they have taken their destiny into their own hands by making Emmanuel Macron a minority president. This victory is yours!”

In all, Macron will lead the largest party in the French Parliament but without an overall majority at 245 seats, according to the French interior ministry. The hard-left NUPES (New popular ecological and social union) performed roughly as polled and won 131 seats. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally outperformed expectations to take 89 seats. The Republicans, the once establishment party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy came fourth with just 61 seats: just 15 years ago, they won 313.

Commenting from across the English Channel, Brexit leader Nigel Farage said: “A big night for Marine Le Pen. The dam will break in the end,” referencing the potential for populists to finally gain control of the Élysée Palace and win the French presidency.

The huge upset at the parliamentary level for the National Rally comes after the party secured the largest vote share in the history of the party in a presidential election in April, in which Le Pen received 41.5 per cent of the vote share. While the vote represented a comfortable margin of victory for President Macron, RN saw significant gains among younger millennial voters as well as winning the working-class vote, spelling a potential downfall for the so-called centrist consensus pushed by globalist elites such as former Rothschild banker Macron.

Though Mr Macron had cast himself as a leader akin to the Roman god Jupiter and had promised in 2017 that his presidency would unify France by doing “everything in the five years to come so there is no more reason to vote for the extremes,”  he has apparently failed on this front, with the socialist NUPES coalition headed by far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon winning 131 seats, making the hard left the largest opposition voting bloc in the parliament, should the group of socialists, communists, and greens maintain a unified front… something which could prove difficult for Mélenchon.

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