France Is in Uncharted Territory, Expect a Big Political Catfight

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jul8,2024 #finance

The French Far Left says it is ready to govern. Halleluiah? A catfight is coming up, advantage National Rally.

The Left is Ready to Govern! Halleluiah?

France24 reports Leftist Alliance ‘Ready to Govern’ after Trouncing Macron’s Ruling Party.

France’s snap legislative elections on Sunday showed the leftist New Popular Front leading both Macron’s ruling party and the right-wing National Rally but falling short of an absolute majority, according to Ipsos Talan projections. One of the coalition’s leaders, Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the far-left France Unbowed party, urged Macron to invite them to form a government, saying the alliance “is ready to govern”.

What Comes Next?

Reuters asks What Comes Next After No Party Wins Majority

Will a Left-Leaning Coalition Form?

This is far from certain. France is not accustomed to the kind of post-election coalition-building that is common in northern European parliamentary democracies like Germany or the Netherlands.

Its Fifth Republic was designed in 1958 by war hero Charles de Gaulle to give large, stable parliamentary majorities to presidents and that has created a confrontational political culture with no tradition of consensus and compromises.

Plea to Act Like Adults

Moderate leftwing politician Raphael Glucksmann, a lawmaker in the European Parliament, said the political class would have to “act like grown-ups”.

Well, good luck with that plea.

None of the three blocs can form a majority government. They will need support from others to pass legislation.

Let’s check in on the Left

A Duty Call by the Left

Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the hard-left France Unbowed (LFI), ruled out a broad coalition of parties of different stripes.

He said Macron had a duty to call on the leftist alliance to rule.

Centrists Ready and Willing

In the centrist camp, Macron’s party head, Stephane Sejourne, said he was ready to work with mainstream parties but ruled out any deal with Melenchon’s LFI.

Former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe also ruled out any deal with the hard-left party.

Dear Delusional Centrists

Dear delusional centrists who refuse to deal with either the Left or the Right, I believe you need a math lesson.

A majority is 289.

If you gather the maximum coalition, you get 158+7+67 = 232 as shown in the lead chart.

As an added bonus, I will magically award your coalition 14 seats from the unaffiliated Left.

Ta da. You now have 246, needing only 289.

What If No Agreement Can Be Found?

That would be uncharted territory for France. The constitution says Macron cannot call new parliamentary elections for another 12 months.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said he would tender his resignation to Macron on Monday morning, but that he was available to act in a care-taker capacity.

The constitution says Macron decides who to ask to form a government. But whoever he picks faces a confidence vote in the National Assembly, which will convene for 15 days on July 18.

This means Macron needs to name someone acceptable to a majority of lawmakers.

No Agreement Questions and Answers

Q: Is there anyone acceptable to the far Left except someone on the far Left?
A: According to Melenchon, no

Q: Is there anyone acceptable to the far Right except someone on the far Right?
A: Certainly not.

Q: Is there a center Majority?
A: No

There Is No Magic Solution

There is no magic solution and that was evident immediately from the preliminary results, at least to anyone who can do simple math.

Despite the obvious math problem, perhaps some coalition government compromise forms out of this mess. Just don’t expect it to be stable.

On some issues, notably retirement age, the Far Left and Far Right are aligned. How’s that supposed to ever work?

The Far Right

Many on the Right, especially those in the US, object to the label “Far Right” for Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party. OK objection heard.

Marine Le Pen is not who she used to be. She has moved towards the center but is still quite a bit Right of Les Republicans.

National Rally, no matter how you label them, is likely smart enough to not cooperate at all in whatever caretaker government, if any, does form. That has been my base case from the start.

Far Left Pyrrhic Victory

If they the far Right achieved an outright majority, they would have choked on it.

I discussed this in advance on June 30: President Macron’s Party Blown Out in First Round of French Parliament Elections

The center cannot hold, yet it rules out forming a coalition with either the Left or Right.

It would be very smart of National Rally to stay out of the fight until the next presidential election in 2027.

To understand why please see Debt Brakes and Treaty Requirements About to Smash the EU.

Also see see France is Now Ungovernable Following a Pyrrhic Victory for the Left-Green Alliance

Macron will regret these snap elections. He is the big loser in this.

The ultimate winner in this election will be the party that can stay as far away from the Center/Left catfight as possible.

National Rally is only party that has a chance to stay out of the mess, and that is what I expect them to do.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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