The Results of the French elections: The rise of the left

Jean Luc Melenchon. Wikipedia, Drutchy2017

With great surprise and contrary to forecasts, France joined the trend set by Britain and Iran in the past week, taking a strong left turn. In the parliamentary elections held on Sunday, the united Popular front party, which has extremist, moderate and environmental left-wing parties, has become the largest party in the parliament. The Renaissance party associated with President Emmanuel Macron’s central line lost about a quarter of its seats in parliament, becoming second in size; and in the third place was the National Union party led by Marine Le Pen, which doubled its seats in parliament. For the far-right party, the result is considered very disappointing, after a large portion of the polls predicted a landslide victory and an absolute majority in parliament. This result was halted by agreements between Macron and the PF regarding the retirement of third candidates in elective districts whose chances were slim and led only to the splitting of votes.

The biggest loser of the election is President Macron, who took a long shot at making the decision and lost much of his power in parliament. The current Prime Minister of Macron’s party, Gabriel Attal, has already placed his resignation (but the president is not obliged to accept it, and may reinstate him the task of forming the government). France is in a complex political situation, with no bloc interested in cooperating with the others, but not holding a sufficient majority to form a government. Macron’s main hope depends on the dissolution of the Popular Front Party into its factors – since after all, it is a synthetic alliance, which was created quickly from the necessity of reality, and the various parties that make up the big party are very different from each other. If the big party breaks up, Macron can form a government with some of the small parties.

What are the consequences of the results for Israel? Well, many members of the PFLP are known for their anti-Israel tendencies, including party leader Jean-Luc Melanchon himself. Many of them even refused to condemn the actions of Hamas on October 7, and expressed support for limiting French-Israeli cooperation. It is hoped that in the new government that will be established, these elements will not find a place (and Macron has indeed declared that he does not want to cooperate with the extreme left); and in the meantime, most of the foreign powers are in the hands of the president, who is still taking a pragmatic, if uncomfortable, line toward Israel.

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