What if Emmanuel Macron doesn’t get an absolute majority next Sunday?

The first round of the parliamentary elections decided. The presidential majority coalition achieved a narrow victory yesterday, at the end of Sunday’s second round, which, according to the National Assembly, could “only” translate into a majority. If this hypothesis is correct, what scenarios exist for Emmanuel Macron?

Emmanuel Macron urged the French to give him a “strong and clear majority” to win an absolute majority, or 289 seats, in the National Assembly for a second term.

However, the presidential coalition has won by a short margin (25.75%) since “Together!”. barely 21,000 votes ahead of the left-wing alliance Nupes (25.66%).

If the record abstention (52.49%) is also noted, it is promised that the second round will be difficult for the President, that he will have to negotiate alliances to govern freely and pass his reforms.

In case of relative majority

The consequences for Emmanuel Macron will be multiple if the presidential-majority coalition does not largely win, or worse, is defeated in the second round of the legislative elections. Two scenarios are then possible.

If “Together!” comes first, but before he reaches 289 seats, Emmanuel Macron will have a relative majority in the National Assembly. The scenario will then be complicated for the President, who will have two options before him. The first would be to play the alliance game and seek the support of other political formations in order to have an absolute majority on the legal texts. Some members of the government consider that there is a reserve vote, especially on the right.

The second option would be to rule “in the minority” while retaining the Prime Minister of his choice, who would undoubtedly remain Elisabeth Borne if he wins in the Calvados constituency. In this situation, which was the case of Michel Rocard from 1988 to 1991 (after the re-election of François Mitterrand, the left had not achieved an absolute majority), Emmanuel Macron could have chosen to rule “in force” by invoking the controversial Article 49 – a text of the 3rd Government in Parliament. allows it to be accepted without a vote. Still, the government would expose it to a possible no-confidence motion that could overthrow it provided it gathers a majority of MPs to vote.

In case of cohabitation

The second scenario for Emmanuel Macron, considered “catastrophic” by one of his supporters, would be a defeat in the second round of the legislative elections for his coalition. This would naturally lead to coexistence (conventional but not mandatory) with the appointment of a new Prime Minister, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the opposition.

The least favorable scenario for the president would be to deprive him of nearly all of his powers. Still, Emmanuel Macron would retain the possibility of dissolving the National Assembly and holding new elections to try to regain its majority. It’s a risky tactic that turned out to be a loser for Jacques Chirac in 1997, endorsed by the voters, and forced to live with Lionel Jospin for the final five years of his seven-year term.

According to OpinionWay’s estimates, Emmanuel Macron needs between 260 and 300 MPs, giving him a two-in-one chance to win an absolute majority. Jean-Luc Mélenchon should be able to get 170 to 200 seats. Predictions to be confirmed on Sunday 19 June, on the occasion of the second round of legislative elections, which could be a turning point in Emmanuel Macron’s policy.