‘Electoral tsunami’ French populists snatch legislative majority away from Emmanuel Macron

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Emmanuel Macron was left battered in France’s legislative elections held on Sunday after the two-term President was left without a majority in Parliament. Mr Macron, who defeated far-right challenger Marine Le Pen in April’s presidential poll, invited all political party leaders to engage in talks in a bid to find common ground.

However, the French President could be forced to call fresh elections after opposition parties rejected his plea.

An official claimed Mr Macron has suggested he hopes to “hold dialogues and exchanges for the superior interest of the nation and to build solutions to serve the French people”.

Christian Jacob, chairman of the centre-right Republicans, even claimed there was “no question of either a pact, a coalition or any form of agreement” with Mr Macron.

Macron’s centrist coalition Together lost 115 seats to leave them with 245 MPs, 44 short of an overall majority.

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Nupes, an alliance of left-wing parties led by Eurosceptic populist Jean-Luc Melenchon, tripled its tally by winning 131 seats.

The National Rally also benefited as voters turned away from Macron.

France’s leading far-right party saw its number of MPs rise from eight to 89.

The result has been lauded by many of Marine Le Pen’s supporters as she has sought to detoxify the National Rally since taking over from her father Jean-Marie in 2011.

Jordan Bardella, who succeeded Ms Le Pen as chairman, described the result as an “electoral tsunami”.

Ms Le Pen retains a key post in National Rally as the party’s head in its parliamentary group.

Despite contesting a hard fought presidential campaign against Ms Le Pen, Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti suggested Mr Macron could strike a deal with the National Rally.

Other Cabinet Ministers suffered at the ballot box on Sunday, including Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon and Ecology Minister Amélie de Montchalin.

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However, according to the Times, the French President hopes he can persuade moderate Republican MPs and some socialists to break ranks with their leaders.

It has been reported that splits in the Nupes grouping could bring fresh hope for Mr Macron.

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