Jostled by the left in the first round of the legislative elections, Emmanuel Macron and his camp are starting a decisive week to try to obtain an absolute majority in the Assembly next Sunday, essential for the package of reforms that the outgoing French head of state intends to implement over the next five years.
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"We are going to be very mobilized to give a clear and strong majority, we need this majority, France needs it", declared Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Monday during a trip to Calvados (north-west) where she came comfortably ahead of the 6th constituency in the first round.
"There are emergencies on purchasing power (...) we have war at the gates of Europe, we need stability", she argued, the day after a takeover. speech during which she had evoked an “unprecedented confusion between the extremes”.
Re-elected at the end of April against the far right, Emmanuel Macron, a liberal centrist, has to deal with a less favorable panorama than when he first came to power in 2017, with, for the 2022 edition, record abstention and a double breakthrough of the left and extreme right.
Led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Nupes (communists, ecologists, socialists, radical left) played almost evenly with the outgoing presidential majority, united under the label Together! and came out on top on Sunday evening at the end of the first round with only 21,000 votes ahead, out of the 23.3 million voters.
Although the presidential coalition retains the advantage in the projections of the 577 seats of deputies (255 to 295), ahead of the Nupes (150 to 210), it is not guaranteed at this stage to retain its absolute majority - whose threshold is set at 289 seats.
In this context, the coming week promises to be crucial for the presidential camp, which will have to try to maintain the mobilization of its voters and convince those on the right to slip in a ballot Together! at the ballot box on Sunday.
"It's all the irony of political history: today my political family is not doing well, and for all that we may need the Republicans", noted on France 2 the elected Republican (right) Jean -François Copé whose party will lose the status of the first opposition group in the Assembly, but whose voters and future deputies could be valuable to Emmanuel Macron.
Present on the radios and TV Monday morning, the tenors of the presidential camp assured that "nothing was played", like the Minister in charge of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal or the government spokesperson Olivia Grégoire.
The absence of an absolute majority from the presidential camp would complicate the task of the executive and would be a first since the legislative elections of 1988, when the Socialists and their allies failed to obtain an absolute majority.
The government of Michel Rocard then had to make alliances with the center-right to have its texts voted on, often with the help of article 49.3 of the Constitution.
In the Nupes camp, the challenge of the week will be to convince voters to go to the polls on Sunday, after the record abstention recorded on Sunday – less than one in two voters went to the polls for the first round.
“The game is open,” said LFI MP Clémentine Autain on France Inter on Monday, referring to a “rather scathing defeat for the power in place” and calling on voters to “take the measure of the field of possibilities in a week”.
Speaking a few minutes later on the same radio, Gabriel Attal insisted on the differences between the programs of the two camps, praising their “deeply European” and “deeply republican” project. The presidential camp warns of the danger represented by the importance of the "extreme left" in Nupes.
A sign of the stakes and the duel which is looming in the coming days, the Nupes accused the Ministry of the Interior of "tampering" for not having, according to the left alliance, counted all the votes due to it on the first round. The ministry, for its part, explained that it is sticking to the lists of declared candidates.
The presidential camp must also deal with certain ministers in unfavorable ballot against Nupes, like Amélie de Montchalin (Ecological Transition) or Clément Beaune (European Affairs). The rule imposed by the Elysée wants a minister beaten at the ballot box to leave the government.
As for the RN, party of Marine Le Pen, presidential finalist on April 24, it came in third position with around 19% of the vote, far ahead of the traditional right.