Emmanuel Macron Likely to Lurch Left

Following the French parliamentary elections in June, recently re-elected President Emmanuel Macron is left with a ship that has become harder to maneuver. His coalition of centrist parties gathered 250 seats, 39 short of an absolute majority. In practice, this means that he does have the ability to maintain a government friendly to his cause, but that he needs support from other parties to pass, amend, or repeal laws in France’s National Assembly. 

From a political standpoint, Macron faces pest or cholera when fishing for the remaining 39 votes. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally has become the largest opposition group in parliament, with 89 seats. Given the hostile campaign and the stigma associated with Le Pen, Macron doesn’t seek the support of her party and probably wouldn’t get it even if he sought it. The French Republic Party, which won only 62 seats, has turned increasingly right-wing during the last campaign, with leader Valérie Pécresse even spouting the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory. Neither will it be an ally for Macron.

This only leaves the NUPES group as a potential vote-carrier for the government. NUPES (​​translated into English: New People’s Ecologic and Social Union) is a far-left movement rallying anyone from environmentalists and hardline socialists to the French Communist Party. The movement’s election manifesto is a political rollercoaster, ranging from higher taxes to large-scale industry nationalizations. On NATO the different factions disagree on specifics, yet most say they prefer to leave the alliance. On the international financial and trade system, NUPES says: “Bring to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) proposals for a break with international neoliberalism.”

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