France’s leftist New Popular Front wins a shock victory – but now the hard part begins

France's New Popular Front has won the largest number of seats in the final round of snap parliamentary elections, leaving behind the remnants of President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist camp and the far-right National Rally trailing in third place. It’s a staggering result for a closely fought election that has left the country without a clear candidate for prime minister – and the hastily assembled broad leftist coalition without an absolute majority that would allow it to push through its ambitious programme.

The dam has held. After finishing first in the opening round of France’s legislative elections, the far-right National Rally (RN) is trailing third in the final round, estimated by Ipsos Talan to have won between 138 and 145 seats in the National Assembly alongside a splinter group of renegade conservatives from Les Républicains. Marine Le Pen’s party needed 289 seats to win an absolute majority in the 577-seat lower house of parliament. They’ve fallen short – far short.

Read moreFrance's frenzied finale: Will last-minute deals thwart far-right win?

"Our victory has been merely delayed," she said.


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