Analysis

  • Uncertain future: how 2022 elections confirmed France's radically different political landscape

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    A voting card is stamped after a vote in the second round of the legislative elections at Carhaix-Plouguer in Brittany, June 19th 2022. © Photo Fred Tanneau / AFP A voting card is stamped after a vote in the second round of the legislative elections at Carhaix-Plouguer in Brittany, June 19th 2022. © Photo Fred Tanneau / AFP

    The outcome of France's legislative elections on Sunday shows the extent to which the country's political map has been redrawn in recent years. There are now three main blocs and groups of voters; Emmanuel Macron's centre-right, the Left and the far-right. But the composition of the new National Assembly, in which Macron's coalition has the single largest bloc of MPs but lacks an overall majority, raises as many questions as answers about the political future. Fabien Escalona assesses the uncertainties that lie ahead.

  • Macron's democratic slap in the face

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    Emmanuel Macron and Élisabeth Borne during a ceremony at the Mont-Valérien war memorial at Suresnes, in the western suburbs of Paris, on June 18th 2022. © Photo Gonzalo Fuentes / Pool / AFP Emmanuel Macron and Élisabeth Borne during a ceremony at the Mont-Valérien war memorial at Suresnes, in the western suburbs of Paris, on June 18th 2022. © Photo Gonzalo Fuentes / Pool / AFP

    Having been repudiated at the ballot box in the second round of France's legislative elections on Sunday, Presidential Emmanuel Macron is now faced with an unprecedented political and institutional crisis. Without a working majority in the National Assembly, there looks to be no obvious solutions for him at the start of his second term, unless there is a major but improbable realignment of political groups. Analysis by political correspondent Ilyes Ramdani.

  • Macron at risk of losing his Parliamentary majority

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    Emmanuel Macron voting in the first round at Le Touquet in northern France, June 12th 2022. © Photo Ludovic Marin / AFP Emmanuel Macron voting in the first round at Le Touquet in northern France, June 12th 2022. © Photo Ludovic Marin / AFP

    Shortly after winning the presidential election in 2017 Emmanuel Macron won a thumping majority at elections for the National Assembly, enabling him to push through his programme of reforms. Now, two months after his re-election as president in April, the head of state has suffered his first electoral setback at a national level. In the first round of voting in legislative elections on Sunday Macron's coalition of parties attracted only a handful more votes than the united left alliance known as NUPES. Though the head of state's centre-right Ensemble alliance is well-placed to win the support of other voters in the decisive second round next Sunday June 19th, his supporters are nonetheless worried he could lose his overall majority in the National Assembly. Ilyes Ramdani reports.

  • Anger of French diplomats at Macron's 'jobs for friends' reform

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    Paris, August 28th 2019. Emmanuel Macron at the conference for ambassadors at the Élysée. © Photo Denis Allard / REA Paris, August 28th 2019. Emmanuel Macron at the conference for ambassadors at the Élysée. © Photo Denis Allard / REA

    A reform promoting “internal mobility” has just been introduced at France's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ostensible aim of Emmanuel Macron's measure is to make the French senior civil service more flexible and less elitist. However, many diplomats see the American-style reforms at the ministry as a pretext to enable the head of state to appoint his political friends or business executives to plum diplomatic posts. They also think the president is settling scores with the diplomatic corps, whom the Élysée royally detests. The depth of feeling at the ministry is so strong that trade unions representing diplomats have called for a strike on June 2nd. René Backmann reports.

  • Macron's new government under Élisabeth Borne: same old recipe, even less novelty

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    The Élysée during Emmanuel Macron's investiture, May 7th 2022. © Photo Sébastien Calvet / Mediapart The Élysée during Emmanuel Macron's investiture, May 7th 2022. © Photo Sébastien Calvet / Mediapart

    After a delay of 26 days, on Friday May 20th Emmanuel Macron finally appointed the 27 members of the new government under recently-installed prime minister Élisabeth Borne. As Ilyes Ramdani reports, its composition is strikingly similar to the old government and is still anchored firmly to the right. Historian Pap Ndiaye, who was a surprise appointment as minister of education, represents something of an anomaly alongside the rest of the ministerial team.

  • Macron appoints Élisabeth Borne as his new prime minister

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    Elisabeth Borne at the Elysée Palace attending the inauguration of re-elected president Emmanuel Macron, May 7th 2022. © Photo Sébastien Calvet / Mediapart Elisabeth Borne at the Elysée Palace attending the inauguration of re-elected president Emmanuel Macron, May 7th 2022. © Photo Sébastien Calvet / Mediapart

    Élisabeth Borne was on Monday named as France’s new prime minister, replacing Jean Castex under who she served for the last two years as labour minister. Borne, 61, is the second-ever woman to lead a French government, after Édith Cresson who was briefly in office 30 years ago. The future of Borne and her government now hangs on the results of legislative elections to be held next month, when it remains to be seen whether Macron’s Renaissance party can maintain a working majority in parliament. Dan Israel and Ilyes Ramdani analyse Borne’s track record, and the challenges she now faces.

  • The contours of France's new political landscape

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    Election posters of Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in Paris, April 2022. © Photo Magali Cohen / Hans Lucas via AFP Election posters of Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in Paris, April 2022. © Photo Magali Cohen / Hans Lucas via AFP

    An analysis of the final results of last Sunday's presidential election shows the extent to which Emmanuel Macron's electoral strategy paid off handsomely, while at the same time indicating that support for the far-right is now firmly entrenched across the country. It is now abundantly clear that France has entered a new political era. But the results also highlight the risk that whole sections of the population could be left stranded without proper political representation for years to come. Fabien Escalona and Donatien Huet report.

  • Macron presides over the ruins

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    Emmanuel Macron during his speech at the Champ-de-Mars, Paris, April 24th 2022. © Photo Bertrand Guay / AFP Emmanuel Macron during his speech at the Champ-de-Mars, Paris, April 24th 2022. © Photo Bertrand Guay / AFP

    The strategy that Emmanuel Macron deployed for five years has paid handsome dividends electorally, as shown by his win over Marine Le Pen with around 58% of the vote. But in democratic terms that strategy has produced nothing but failure. As Ellen Salvi reports in the aftermath of the president's re-election, the country's divisions have never been so deep.

  • Presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen's struggle for credibility

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    Marine Le Pen at her April 13th press conference to present her foreign affairs and defence policies. © Photo Carine Schmitt / Hans Lucas Marine Le Pen at her April 13th press conference to present her foreign affairs and defence policies. © Photo Carine Schmitt / Hans Lucas

    As far-right leader Marine Le Pen approaches what is predicted will be a tightly fought duel with Emmanuel Macron in the April 24th final round of France’s presidential elections, the credibility of her capacity to govern is under heightened scrutiny, not least over her ability to form a government. Lucie Delaporte reports.

  • French elections: the confirmed collapse of France's old parties of government

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    Voting in this year’s first round of presidential elections confirmed a profound change in French politics. © Photo Sébastien Calvet / Mediapart Voting in this year’s first round of presidential elections confirmed a profound change in French politics. © Photo Sébastien Calvet / Mediapart

    The results of the first round of France’s presidential elections on Sunday have demonstrated that the political earthquake of the elections in 2017, when Emmanuel Macron arrived in office, was no passing aberration. Instead, the voting last weekend confirmed the endurance of a new electoral landscape in France, with the old mainstream socialist and conservative parties of government left in tatters, replaced by a centre-right behind Macron, a strengthened far-right and a Left dominated by its ‘Green-and-red’ movements. This analysis by Fabien Escalona and Donatien Huet.