After Macron’s Call For Snap Election, Game Of Alliances Is On


By Laurent Geslin

(EurActiv) — Following the French parliament’s surprise dissolution announced by President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday [9 June], political manoeuvering has already started to form coalitions that could win the upcoming legislative election.

The election will be held in two rounds, on 30 June and 7 July, with candidacies expected to be put forward before Sunday 16th June.

Just twenty-four hours after the dissolution of the Assembly, time is already running out as there is an urgent need to reach broad political agreements.

The grand alliance of the far right

A few minutes after Macron’s announcement, far-right leader Marine Le Pen, whose party won resoundingly in the European elections, called on “the French people to come and join [her], to form around Rassemblement national a majority in the service of the only cause that guides our steps, France“.

Though in a strong position after winning 31.5% of the vote, Le Pen’s Rassemblement national (RN) still needs to broaden its electoral base to win legislative elections, in a two-round majority vote that will pit it directly against Macron’s party.

Le Pen’s niece Marion Maréchal, newly elected to the European Parliament under the banner of France’s second far-right party, Reconquête!, was careful during the campaign not to attack Le Pen head-on.

Last night, she was quick to explain “that the coalition of the right […] appears more necessary than ever“ to win the next elections, stressing that she had “always distinguished between opponents and competitors“.

Le Pen and her point man and rising political star, new RN leader Jordan Bardella, held a meeting with Maréchal already on Monday but no details were immediately disclosed.

The Republicans threatened with disintegration

The RN could also benefit from a wave of desertion among the conservative Les Republicans (LR, EPP), who are losing ground election after election. There are many examples of people defecting to the far right, starting with MEP Thierry Mariani, Nicolas Sarkozy’s former transport minister, who joined the RN in 2019.

The leader of the LR’s list for the European elections, François-Xavier Bellamy explained during the last presidential election that he felt closer to Reconquête! than to Macron.

“We obviously have no intention of forming an alliance, dissolving or denying ourselves“, he stressed to Le Monde on Sunday, feeling that the unity of his party could falter.

Macron is going to have to poach among the LR’s left wing. Rumours have been circulating for several weeks about the appointment of the President of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, to the job of prime minister, before the latter denied it.

But the Macron offensive is set to resume.

In an attempt to broaden Macron’s alliance-building potential, his minister for Europe and foreign affairs, Stéphane Séjourné, explained that Macron’s camp “will give the nomination“ to outgoing MPs, including opposition MPs, “who are part of the republican field“ and wish to “commit to a clear project“ around the presidential majority.

A fragile ‘popular front’

On the left, calls for the formation of a “popular front“ multiplied. Following the announcement of the dissolution, a few hundred activists from the Greens, the Socialist Party (PS, S&D), and the far-left La France Insoumise (LFI, The Left) gathered in central Paris to call for a “union of the left“.

Francois Ruffin, a member of parliament who sits with LFI but has retained freedom of tone that is relatively rare within the far-left party, also stressed the need to “stop the bullshit“ and unite the left behind “a common banner“.

However, the broad leftist NUPES coalition, which won 25.66% of the vote in the first round of the 2022 parliamentary elections, broke up a long time ago.

In the meantime, differences between former leftist allies only increased in the EU elections, particularly on foreign policy issues such as the situation in Palestine and the war in Ukraine.

The socialist PS, led by Raphaël Glucksmann, once again became the leading left-wing party in the EU elections, with nearly 14% of the vote, and no one on the left seems ready to align with the disruptive positions of the leader of the Insoumis, Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

“A rebalancing has resulted from the European elections and we have to take this into account“, Olivier Faure, the first secretary of the Socialist Party, explained on Monday (10 June) on France Inter.

However, all the left-wing leaders are aware that they will be defeated if they fight isolated and that there are only a few days left to settle their differences.


EurActiv publishes free, independent policy news and facilitates open policy debates in 12 languages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *