In the first round of French National Assembly elections on Sunday, June 12, the New Ecologic and Social Peoples Union (NUPES), led by leftist leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, achieved a major breakthrough. NUPES secured 25.7% of votes, giving a genuine challenge to the neoliberal Ensemble coalition, led by the French president Emmanuel Macron, which won 25.8% of votes.
Four candidates from NUPES have already won in the first round, with the Macronists securing one seat. Around 417 candidates front the Ensemble and 380 candidates from NUPES will contest run-offs. The far-right National Rally (RN) led by Marine Le Pen managed to secure 208 run-off tickets, while the center-right Republicans (LR) managed to secure their presence only in 71 constituencies in the second round scheduled for June 19. The first round of legislative election also recorded 52.49% abstentions of registered voters.
The French Left, comprising the La France Insoumise (LFI) and the French Communist Party (PCF), formed the New Ecologic and Social People’s Union (NUPES) coalition on May 1, 2022, in alliance with the center-left Socialist Party (PS), the Greens and several other eco-left and progressive regional groups. This alliance was formed to focus the resistance to the neoliberal and anti-worker policies of Emmanuel Macron after he was re-elected in the presidential election of April 24.
According to Perspective Communiste, four NUPES candidates from La France Insoumise (LFI); Alexis Corbière (Seine-Saint-Denis-7), Danièle Obono (Paris-7), Sophia Chikirou (Paris-6) and Sarah Legrain (Paris-6) won in the first round itself. Out of the 49 candidates of the French Communist Party (PCF) contested as part of the NUPES coalition, 31 qualified for the second round of the general elections on June 19.
On June 13, the media platform of the LFI, L’insoumission noted, “Last night, it was the NUPES that became the country’s first political force. The historical alliance of the left, composed of LFI, PS, PCF, EELV and Generation. has uprooted the political life of the country and shook the Elysee. According to various estimates, Macron may not have the majority in the National Assembly needed to govern the country,” added L’insoumission.
Analysts Mathieu Dejean and Pauline Graulle wrote in Mediapart that “by qualifying for the second round in more than 350 constituencies and by being neck and neck with the presidential majority in number of votes, the united ecologist left achieved an unprecedented performance.”