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Macron has lost his parliamentary majority. That shouldn’t be surprising.

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22.06.2022

French President Emmanuel Macron’s loss of a parliamentary majority in Sunday’s legislative elections shocked most observers of the country’s politics. It shouldn’t have.

The forces of populism from both the left and the right have been gaining steam throughout his tenure. Ignoring those forces, as Macron has largely done in his first term, would be a recipe for disaster. The only way forward, for him and for France, is to embrace what he has long opposed.

It’s been clear for years that the French are souring on Macron’s liberal centrism. His approval ratings languished under 50 percent for more than four years. He won less than 28 percent of the vote in the first round of this year’s presidential election, and 54 percent voted for a populist of the left or right. He won the second round only because the left-wing populist opposition despised his right-wing opponent, Marine Le Pen, more than they loathed Macron, so they either abstained or grudgingly backed him.

That attitude — the enemy of my enemy is my friend — boomeranged on Macron in the legislative vote. Backers of Le Pen and her left-wing counterpart, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, knew that they would not be handing power to their opponents if they teamed up to vote against Macron’s candidates. So........

© Washington Post


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