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Elections in France: Macron gives victory to the radical left to stop the advance of conservatives

The conservative National Rally party, led by Marine Le Pen, is disappointed by remaining as the third political force despite winning the popular vote.

In the picture, the conservative Marine Le Pen and the left-wing extremist Jean-Luc Mélenchon.AFP

Finally, the conservatives had a disappointing legislative run off in France.

The party National Rally (RN, for its French acronym), led by the conservative Marine Le Pen, was left as the third political force after President Emmanuel Macron made a pact with the radical left to stop the notable advance of the right-wing after they swept the European parliamentary elections and the first round of the national legislative elections.

The results, according to the prestigious newspaper Le Monde, for the moment go like this: the New Popular Front (NFP), which groups progressives and the French far left, will garner 181 seats remaining as the first political force after taking advantage of the boost given to them by Macron.

Ensemble, the pro-government option led by Macron himself, remains as the second political force obtaining some 166 seats.

Meanwhile, the conservative RN party disappointed expectations, remaining the third force after winning approximately 143.

This result is explained because the radical left and Ensemble candidates, in an act of extreme political pragmatism, decided to withdraw from the races in the regions where the right had a chance to win in the second round, leaving the coalition candidate who had been better positioned to win.

This strategy allowed the anti-RN votes to be concentrated on a single contender, an approach that, electorally, was infallible to momentarily stop Le Pen's party, which looked like the loser of the day despite the fact that, according to the polls, won the popular vote with 33% of the votes (five points more than the radical left and twelve more than Ensemble) and that notoriously increased its number of seats in Congress from 89 to about 143.

Is this a real victory for Macron or the left?

Today, political analysts are giving a standing ovation to Emmanuel Macron, who, after RN's triumph in the European parliamentary elections, played a risky gamble by calling for early elections that could have doomed his political future.

But the results, even if Ensemble only got about 22% of the votes, left Macron well off, who will now have an even more difficult mission: to curb the radical left, which, right now, is calling for his resignation after using his support to remain as the first political force.

In particular, the extremist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of La France Insoumise, perhaps the grouping with the most weight in the leftist coalition, celebrated the triumph by urging President Macron to "admit his defeat" and resign.

"The far right is far from a majority tonight.... The result of the election is the fruit of an extraordinary mobilizing effort," said an effusive Mélenchon, who also advanced that, if the left succeeds in forming a government,the first measure they will take will be to recognize a Palestinian state.

However, the New Popular Front, although victorious, also has its own internal problems since it is a leftist coalition with socialists, communists, ecologists and a wide range of groupings that historically have been critical of each other and allied themselves thanks to their anti-RN sentiment.

Seeing that the distribution of seats is really close and that the left fell far short of the absolute majority of 289 seats, it is a plausible that within the New Popular Front, there are factors that want to negotiate a government with Macron.

Meanwhile, the French Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, announced that he will tender his resignation to the president this very Monday after the government coalition failed to reach a majority. Although not statutory, this act is usually traditional, and the important thing will come tomorrow, whether Macron will accept the resignation or not.

Macron's office said that the president is analyzing the electoral results.

The right wing questions a "dishonest" alliance

Meanwhile, in RN, a narrative of relative success is being constructed in order not to lose the momentum of the most recent electoral triumphs. Its leader, Le Pen, evaluated that the election was positive for her grouping and explained that the conservatives competed alone against the other parties that formed an anti-RN coalition.

In that sense, Le Pen said that this coalition was composed of all groupings without exception, from LR (the center-right) to the most radical left represented in France Insoumise.

"The tide continues to rise and our victory is now only delayed," Le Pen assured.

Likewise, her political dauphin, the young rising political star Jordan Bardella, who hoped to become France's new prime minister, criticized "the dishonest alliance" of the far left that "deprived the French" of a victory for the conservatives.

"Tonight, these alliances threw France into the arms of Jean-Luc Melénchon's extreme left," he said.

The radical left celebrates by setting the streets on fire

After the first projections were known in France, various local media reported that leftist sympathizers, despite the triumph of the NFP, began to "celebrate" by setting fire to the streets of different cities in the European country while clashing with law enforcement.