France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (2024)

Table of Contents
What we covered here What happened in France's shock election, and what next? Here's how France voted Macron rejects his prime minister's offer of resignation Former French President Francois Hollande wins seat in parliament French centrist politician believes parliamentary majority without political extremes is possible French Prime Minister arrives at Presidential Palace to offer his resignation German vice chancellor “thoroughly relieved” after far right fails to win most seats It's morning in Paris. Here's what you need to know Spain's prime minister praises voters in France and Britain for "rejection of the extreme right" What is the left-wing NFP coalition, and who will be France's next prime minister? Analysis: Macron's gamble has kept the far right out of power, but plunged France into chaos In pictures: France's snap parliamentary election New Popular Front has won the most seats in France's parliamentary elections, but not a majority While RN didn't get the victory it hoped for, it is still a force to be reckoned with in France's parliament Police fire tear gas to clear central Parisian square What is the New Popular Front, and who will be France's next PM? “I’m a little disappointed by the lack of respect for the democratic process," a RN activist says Huge crowds gather at central Parisian square France set for political uncertainty after stunning election result. Here's how we got here. Ex-PM: Macron's gamble, meant to "clarify" political situation, has only complicated it Uncertainty in France comes with the Olympics just around the corner Marine Le Pen's sister loses to left-wing candidate in a constituency into which she was parachuted Analysis: Macron's gamble has kept the far right out of power, but plunged France into chaos Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk says Moscow will be disappointed by outcome of French election These are the latest projected results from today's election French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal to submit resignation in the morning "Young people screw the far right," youths chant in Parisian square Macron vows the choice of French people will be "respected" "Alliance of dishonor" caused National Rally to lose votes, Bardella claims following projected results Left-wing alliance leader says France "rejected the worst-case scenario" Atmosphere at National Rally campaign event took nosedive in the hour before polls closed Cheers, tears and kisses on the streets of Paris as election projection announced France's left-wing alliance is projected to be largest bloc in parliament in surprise result Macron will not speak tonight, Elysee tells CNN There is no standalone far-left leader, but there is an alliance Polls will close in half an hour in France’s snap parliamentary election Who is the far-right leader Jordan Bardella and what does he stand for? Hundreds of candidates have dropped out of the second round to keep the far right at bay Why did Macron call an election? How does France’s parliamentary election work? Who are the key players? What are the roles of the parliament and president? Bienvenue to our coverage of the second round of French elections. Here's what to expect from the day References

By Antoinette Radford, Christian Edwards, Peter Wilkinson and Jessie Yeung, CNN

Updated 11:40 AM EDT, Mon July 8, 2024

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (3)

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From 'pleasantly surprised' to 'disappointed': How France reacted to the election results

01:14 - Source: CNN

What we covered here

  • A left-wing alliance has won the most seats in the French parliament, thwarting the far right in a stunning result to Sunday’s second-round vote.
  • Despite avoiding a far-right government, the result means France is plunged into political limbo, with no party reaching an absolute majority, leaving parliament gridlocked.
  • The left-wing New Popular Front won 182 seats, while President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble alliance won 163 seats.
  • The far-right National Rally and its allies, which took a commanding lead in the first round, slumped to third place due to tactical voting, winning 143 seats.

44 Posts

Our live coverage of France’s election has now ended for today. Read our key takeaways write here and browse the posts below to catch up on Monday’s earlier news.

What happened in France's shock election, and what next?

From CNN's Christian Edwards

On Sunday night, joy:French votershad, once again, kept the far right out of power.

On Monday morning, uncertainty: A hung parliament, shaky alliances and the threat of turbulent years ahead.

President Emmanuel Macron called France’s snap parliamentary election to “clarify” the political situation. But after the shock second-round results, the waters are more muddied than they have been in decades.

While a surge in support for the left-wingNew Popular Front (NFP)coalition foiled Marine Le Pen’s far-rightNational Rally (RN)party, French politics is now more disordered than it was before the vote.

So, what did we learn last night, who might be France’s next prime minister, and hasMacron’s gamble“paid off?”

As we wind down our live coverage, read the full story here.

Here's how France voted

Here’s a reminder of how the parties fared in France’s surprising parliamentary election runoff.

The left-wing alliance won the most seats in the French parliament, thwarting the far-right’s attempt to take power, but the parties fell well short of the threshold for a majority and uncertainty lies ahead.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (4)

Macron rejects his prime minister's offer of resignation

From CNN's Saskya Vandoorne

French President Emmanuel Macron has asked his Prime Minister Gabriel Attal to stay in his post for now, according to a source from the Elysee presidential palace.

Attal tendered his resignation this morning but Macron refused to accept.

The president has asked Attal to stay on “for the moment to ensure the stability of the country,” according to the Elysee source.

Former French President Francois Hollande wins seat in parliament

From CNN's Joseph Ataman and Stephanie Halasz
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (5)

Former French president and socialist newly-elected Member of Parliament Francois Hollande, center, delivers a speech following the first results of the second round of France's legislative election in Tulle, France, on July 7.

Former French President Francois Hollande, who governed the country for one term from 2012 to 2017, has been elected as the member of the French parliament for Corrèze, which he represented in the 1980s and 1990s.

Hollande did not run for a second term as president as he saw his re-election chances as very slim. He was succeeded by one of his then-economy ministers, Emmanuel Macron.

Hollande had largely retired from political life after his presidential term, but staged a comeback after saying the far-right posed a real danger to the country.

As president, Hollande legalized same-sex marriage and led France’s response to a string of terror attacks.

French centrist politician believes parliamentary majority without political extremes is possible

From CNN's Joseph Ataman and Stephanie Halasz
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (6)

President of the Democratic Movement (MoDem) party and Mayor of Pau Francois Bayrou leaves the polling booth before voting in the second round of France's legislative election at a polling station in Pau, south-western France on July 7.

A French centrist politician has said he believes a parliamentary majority without the far-left France Unbowed party is possible, despite that party and its allies winning the most votes of any bloc in Sunday’s legislative elections.

Francois Bayrou, leader of the centrist Democratic Movement, told French radio station France Inter that a majority could be formed without both the far left and far right.

He criticized the far-left alliance around France Unbowed, saying the parties that make up the bloc have “attitudes and political choices that are incompatible with each other.”

The New Popular Front includes traditional left-wing parties like the Socialist and Communist parties, as well as the far-left group.

The leaderless bloc has yet to put forward an official candidate for prime minister, with a key internal division coming over the role of France Unbowed leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a controversial figure on the French political scene.

Bayrou’s party won some three dozen seats on Sunday night, part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s bloc, which took a surprisingly big haul of 163 seats.

Bayrou said the second round had delivered a “collapse” for the far-right National Rally (RN), which in a surprise turnaround came in third.

But the far-right saw its best ever parliamentary results, doubling its share of seats.

MarineLePen,RN’s figurehead, said Sunday night that the results would be a foundation for the 2027 presidential elections.

French Prime Minister arrives at Presidential Palace to offer his resignation

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has arrived at the Elysee Presidential Palace to offer his resignation to President Emmanuel Macron, television pictures show.

It is not yet clear if Macron will accept Attal’s offer of resignation, which was announced as results from the election trickled through.

The offer also comes just a few weeks before the Olympic Games in Paris, a major demonstration of France’s position on the world stage, get underway.

German vice chancellor “thoroughly relieved” after far right fails to win most seats

From CNN's Chris Stern in Berlin
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (7)

Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, speaks in Stuttgart, Germany, on July 8.

German’s Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck has said he is “thoroughly relieved” after the far right failed to win an outright majority in the French National Assembly.

Habeck, a member of the Green Party who is also economy minister, said “I am thoroughly relieved that the right did not make a breakthrough and although the formation of a government will now be very complicated, I think it is very good how the center and center-left parties and the left spectrum have worked together to prevent France from drifting into nationalism and Europe from getting into even more difficult waters.”

“It was an encouraging election result, but the result will nevertheless represent an enormous challenge, especially for France itself, but also for Europe, which is currently in a phase of reorganization after the European elections, and also for Franco-German relations,” he told reporters in Stuttgart, Germany early Monday.

“In these difficult times, I hope that France will quickly regain its position we need in Europe, because without France it will not work.”

It's morning in Paris. Here's what you need to know

From CNN staff

A left-wing alliancehas won the most seats in the French parliament after tactical voting in Sunday’ssecond round electionthwarted Marine Le Pen’s far-right party — but France will be left in political limbo after no party came close to winning an absolute majority.

Unable to call a new election for at least another year, and with three years left of his term, President Emmanuel Macron looks set to preside over an unruly parliament, as problems mount at home and abroad.

Here’s what we know:

  • How France voted: In a surprise result, the New Popular Front (NFP) — a cluster of several parties ranging from the far-left France Unbowed party to the more moderate Socialists and the Ecologists — won 182 seats in the National Assembly, making it the largest group but well short of the 289 required for an absolute majority. Macron’s centrist Ensemble alliance won 163 seats and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) party and its allies won 143 seats.
  • What the result means: The RN’s strong showing in the first round stirred fears that France could be on the cusp of electing its first far-right government since the collaborationist Vichy regime of World War II. But Sunday’s results come as a huge upset and show French voters’ overwhelming desire to keep the far right from gaining power — even at the cost of a hung parliament.
  • Mixed reactions: Cheers rang out on the streets of Paris as projected results suggested a leftist victory. Speaking to a crowd of his ecstatic supporters near Stalingrad square, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the firebrand leader of France Unbowed, said the results came as a “huge relief for the overwhelming majority of people in our country.” Meanwhile,Jordan Bardella, the far-right RN’s 28-year-old leader, said France had been thrown into “uncertainty and instability.”
  • Who will be the next prime minister? Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, Macron’s protege, announced he would resign on Monday morning — but it remains unclear who his successor will be. Sunday’s results mean Macron faces the prospect of having to appoint a figure from the left-wing coalition, in a rare arrangement known as a “cohabitation.” However, figures in Macron’s party have repeatedly said they would refuse to work with France Unbowed, saying it is just as extreme — and therefore as unfit to govern — as the RN.
  • What has Macron said? In a brief statement, the Elysee said Macron is awaiting the full results of all 577 constituencies “before taking the necessary decisions.” “In his role as guarantor of our institutions, the president will ensure that the sovereign choice of the French people is respected,” it said.
  • Complicated situation: Édouard Philippe, France’s former prime minister and an ally of Macron, said the president’s gamble of calling a snap election had resulted in “great vagueness.” “The truth is that none of the political blocs in the assembly has a majority on its own to govern, ” he said. “The central political forces therefore have a responsibility to stay. They must, without compromise, promote the creation of an agreement that will stabilize the political situation.”

Spain's prime minister praises voters in France and Britain for "rejection of the extreme right"

From CNN's Alex Stambaugh and Duarte Mendonca
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (8)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez speaks on July 3, in Madrid.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez hailed voters in France and Britain for rejecting the far right, after the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) won the most seats in the French parliamentary election.

The NFP alliance came first in the snap election on Sunday night, winning 182 seats, with the far-right National Rally trailing in third place in a surprise reversal of first-round results.

Remember: France’s election came just a few days after the United Kingdom’s center-left Labour Party swept to victory with a landslide majority, ending 14 years of Conservative rule, in an election that saw the upstart right-wing Reform UK party win five parliamentary seats.

What is the left-wing NFP coalition, and who will be France's next prime minister?

From CNN's Christian Edwards

A month ago, the New Popular Front (NFP) did not exist. Now, it has won the most seats in theFrench parliamentand could provide France with its next prime minister.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Who are the NFP? The left-wing coalition is made up of several parties: the far-left France Unbowed party; the more moderate Socialist Party; the green Ecologist party; the French Communist Party; the center-left Place Publique, and other small parties. It formed just days after President Emmanuel Macron called a snap parliamentary election.
  • How much did they win by? The NFP won 182 seats in the National Assembly, making it the largest bloc but short of an absolute majority, according to the French Interior Ministry.
  • Who’s in charge of the NFP? It’s hard to say; going into the second round, it was not clear who the coalition would nominate to be its prime minister. Its most prominent — and divisive — figure is Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a 72-year-old populist firebrand and longtime leader of the France Unbowed party.
  • Who will be the next prime minister? That’s unclear due to the hung parliament. Figures in Macron’s Ensemble party have repeatedly said they would refuse to work with France Unbowed, saying it is just as extreme — and therefore as unfit to govern — as the RN.
  • What are the NFP’s policies? It has campaigned on an expansive economic platform, promising to raise the minimum monthly wage, cap the price of essential goods, and to scrap Macron’s deeply unpopular pension reform that raised the French retirement age. On foreign policy, the NFP has pledged to “immediately recognize” a Palestinian state, and push for Israel and Hamas to cease fire in Gaza.

Read more:

Related Coverage: What is the NFP and who will be France’s next prime minister? | CNN

Analysis: Macron's gamble has kept the far right out of power, but plunged France into chaos

Analysis from CNN's Sakya Vandoorne

“I threw my live grenade at their feet” is how French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly saw his call for snap elections after a stinging far-right victory in June’s European elections.

It was an explosive gamble and thefinalresults took the country by surprise:France’s left-wing alliance coming in first with 182 seats and the far-right trailing in third place — a shocking reversal of last Sunday’s first-round results.

On Place de la Republique in Paris, news of the projected results was met with rapturous applause and fireworks as people embraced one another, breathing a collective sigh of relief:in their eyes,France had been pulled back from the brink.

Turnout on Sunday was the highest in a parliamentary election for more than 20 years as French citizens took to the ballot box to make their feelings known: they did not want the far right to govern.

Divided parliament: However, with the left falling short of the 289 seats needed for a majority and with a weakenedpresident, the national assembly is expected to be more fractured than ever.

What’s certain is that France is set to enter a prolonged period of instability as three opposing blocs with competing ideas and agendas try to form coalition or find themselves stuck in a state of paralysis.

With such a divided parliament there is no hope for major structural reforms at a domestic level, the bestthe leftists can hope for aread hoc alliances to vote through individual pieces of legislation.

Read the full analysis:

Related Coverage: Analysis: Macron’s gamble has kept the far right out of power, but plunged France into chaos | CNN

In pictures: France's snap parliamentary election

From CNN Digital's Photo Team

Cheers erupted on the streets of Paris late Sunday as projected results suggested the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) would beat the far-right National Rally (RN) party in France’s snap parliamentary election.

A large crowd later gathered at the capital’s Place de la République to celebrate the left-wing alliance winning the most seats in parliament as they chanted: “Young people screw the National Front,” a popular left-wing slogan.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (11)

A voter leaves a booth at a polling station in Lyon, France, on Sunday, July 7.

The NFP is a cluster of several parties ranging from the far-left France Unbowed party to the more moderate Socialists and the Ecologists.

The alliance won 182 seats in the National Assembly, making it the largest group but short of the 289 required for an absolute majority, according to the French Interior Ministry.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (12)

Poll workers begin counting ballots in Schiltgheim, France.

Speaking to a crowd of his ecstatic supporters near Stalingrad square, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the firebrand leader of France Unbowed, said the results came as a “huge relief for the overwhelming majority of people in our country.”

“Our people have clearly rejected the worst-case scenario,” Mélenchon said. “A magnificent surge of civic mobilization has taken hold!”

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (13)

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the France Unbowed party and member of the New Popular Front, waves to supporters in Paris after partial results were released.

Late Sunday night, police cleared the Place de la République by firing tear gas into the crowds, mostly of young people.

But the demonstrators remained upbeat, with photos showing people across the city cheering and celebrating.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (14)

People react to the projection of results in Paris.

The mood was more somber for supporters of the far-right RN party.

At the Bois de Vincennes park in Paris, the buoyant atmosphere at a RN campaign event took a nosedive an hour before the polls closed as it became apparent the far right bloc would come third in the vote.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (15)

People gather at Place de la République in Paris to celebrate the early results.

After the projection was announced,Jordan Bardella, the RN’s 28-year-old leader, said France had been thrown into “uncertainty and instability.”

Despite leading after the first round of votes, Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) party and its allies won 143 seats.

With no party close to clinching a majority, the parliament is likely to be paralyzed, split between three blocs.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (16)

Far-right National Rally party leader Marine Le Pen speaks to reporters in Paris after partial results showed her party would not clinch the majority.

The RN’s strong showing in the first round stirred fears that France could be on the cusp of electing its first far-right government since the collaborationist Vichy regime of World War II.

But Sunday’s results come as a huge upset and show French voters’ overwhelming desire to keep the far right from gaining power – even at the cost of a hung parliament.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (17)

Supporters of the French far-right National Rally party react after partial results were released in Paris.

President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble alliance, which had slumped to a dismal third in the first round of voting last Sunday, mounted a strong recovery to win 163 seats.

Gabriel Attal, Macron’s protege, announced he would resign as prime minister Monday morning. He seemed to take a swipe at Macron’s decision to call the snap vote, saying he “didn’t choose” for France’s parliament to be dissolved.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (18)

Crowds gather during an election night rally at Place de la République in Paris.

After parliamentary elections, the French president appoints a prime minister from the party that won the most seats. Ordinarily, this means a candidate from the president’s own party. However, Sunday’s results mean Macron faces the prospect of having to appoint a figure from the left-wing coalition, in a rare arrangement known as a “cohabitation.”

Speaking to supporters near Stalingrad square, Mélenchon said Macron “has the duty to call the New Popular Front to govern.”

New Popular Front has won the most seats in France's parliamentary elections, but not a majority

France’s Interior Ministry has confirmed the final results of Sunday’s election which saw a 66.63% voter turnout.

The largest number of seats were won by the pan-left alliance New Popular Front – with 182 seats.

The centrist party, Emmanuel Macron’s Ensemble party won 163 seats. In third place, the far-right National Rally and allies won 143 seats.

This means no party has won the required 289 seats for an absolute majority, and seems set to plunge France into more political uncertainty. With no party close to clinching a majority, the parliament is likely to be paralyzed, split between three blocs.

While RN didn't get the victory it hoped for, it is still a force to be reckoned with in France's parliament

From CNN's Antoinette Radford
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (19)

Far-right National Rally party leader Marine Le Pen answers reporters after the second round of the legislative election on July 7 at the party election night headquarters in Paris, France.

While France’s far-right National Rally (RN) didn’t clinch the majority it was hoping for in Sunday’s election, the party has come a long way since previous elections.

In the 2017 election, the RN won only eight seats. In 2022: they won 89. Now, the party is projected to win between 132 and 152 seats.

If successful, Bardella’s party is also projected to have the most seats of any individual party — the left-wing New Popular Front (NPF) is a front made up of various parties forming a united front.

Unlike its political rival the NPF, the National Rally has not come into existence recently. It has a long and complicated history in France.

Founded by Marine Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, a convicted holocaust denier with extremist views on migration, for a long time many people in France viewed the party as an unviable political option.

In recent years Marine Le Pen has sought to change the way the party is viewed after ousting her father from his role leading the party and bringing in 28-year-old Jordan Bardella as leader.

Bardella was picked as the fresh face of an old party that has sought to make itself new. Le Pen has a goal: to soften the party’s image and achieve exactly what it did at recent polls — convince a broader group of voters that her party will represent them.

Police fire tear gas to clear central Parisian square

From CNN's Joseph Ataman in Paris
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (20)

French riot police run during clashes with demonstrators at the Place de la République in Paris on July 7.

Police have moved to clear the Place de la République, a square in central Paris, by firing tear gas into the crowds of mostly young people.

Still, the crowd remained upbeat and were chanting: “Young people screw the National Front.”

This has become a popular left-wing slogan over the past week, using the old name of the far-right National Rally (RN) party.

What is the New Popular Front, and who will be France's next PM?

From CNN's Christian Edwards
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (21)

A man passes campaign posters for the New Popular Front (NFP) in Paris on July 6.

A month ago, the New Popular Front (NFP) did not exist. Now, it looks set to win the most seats in theFrench parliamentand could provide France with its next prime minister.

The hastily assembled left-wing coalition chose its name in an attempt to resurrect the original Popular Front that blocked the far right from gaining power in 1936. If Sunday’ssecond-roundprojection is confirmed, the NFP will have done so again.

Who are the NFP?: The NFP is made up of several parties: the far-left France Unbowed party; the more moderate Socialist Party; the green Ecologist party; the French Communist Party; the center-left Place Publique, and other small parties.

Who’s in charge?: It’s hard to say. Its most prominent – and divisive – figure is Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a 72-year-old populist firebrand and longtime leader of the France Unbowed party, projected to be the largest party within the coalition.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (22)

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the France Unbowed party, attends an election-night gathering in Paris on July 7.

But figures in Macron’s Ensemble party have repeatedly said they would refuse to work with France Unbowed, saying it is just as extreme – and therefore as unfit to govern – as the RN.

What are its policies?: On foreign policy, the NFP has pledged to “immediately recognize” a Palestinian state, and will push for Israel and Hamas to cease fire in Gaza.

It also promised to raise the minimum monthly wage to 1,600 euros (more than $1,700), to cap the price of essential foods and electricity, and to scrap Macron’s unpopular pension reforms.

Read more here.

“I’m a little disappointed by the lack of respect for the democratic process," a RN activist says

From CNN's Joseph Ataman in Paris

An activist for France’s National Rally (RN), the right-wing party that was expected to lead Sunday’s elections but in a surprising twist fell behind two other parties, has described the results as both “satisfying and a bit disappointing.”

“Satisfied because we’re doubling our MPs in the assembly. Which is quite historic. We had hoped for better,” Aymeric Mahiet said.

Another activist, who only provided their name as Alban to CNN, said they felt “a little disappointed by the lack of respect for the democratic process.”

Alban criticized the “RN-bashing” he felt from the French media, especially more typically neutral media like Le Monde and Franceinfo which he said “very clearly take openly anti-RN positions”

Mahiet also repeated a claim RN leader Jordan Bardella had made earlier, suggesting the Macron and the left-wing parties had colluded to win the election.

“This election was stolen by Emmanuel Macron in his tower up high, in total disconnection with the country,” he said.

Huge crowds gather at central Parisian square

From CNN's Joseph Ataman in Paris
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (23)

Crowds gather at Place de la République in Paris.

Thousands of people, mostly young Parisians, crowded into Place de la République, waving flags and drinking beers.

The atmosphere was relaxed, even celebratory, with only the odd political chant going up into the night sky.

Riot police and a water cannon sat sentinel at one entrance to the square, although the mission has clearly changed from fears of putting down a riot to managing a jubilant crowd.

France set for political uncertainty after stunning election result. Here's how we got here.

From CNN's Antoinette Radford
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (24)

A citizen casts their vote in the second district of Lyon, France, on July 7.

This time last week France’s far-right party appeared poised to win the parliamentary election after success in the first round. Today, in a twist sure to give even the most seasoned political spectators whiplash, the left wing is projected to win the most seats but not a working majority – leading to a hung parliament.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (25)

Here’s how we got here:

On June 9, French President Emmanuel Macron took a gamble that took most political experts by surprise. Following a crushing defeat in European Parliament elections that saw France’s far-right National Rally (RN) party win the biggest share of vote, Macron dissolved the national parliament and called a snap election.

The timing was criticized by many – with the Olympics just a few weeks away – but Macron said he had listened to the people of France and would give them the democratic right to choose who they wanted in government.

It was a risk, and one that looked like it was not going to pay off after the first round of the elections on June 30 in which the RN clinched 31.5% of the vote, while the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) gained 27.99% and Macron’s Ensemble alliance won just 20.76% of votes.

After years of waiting, it appeared that Marine Le Pen would finally win power, as the doyenne and former leader of the first right-wing party to govern France since World War II.

But others in France were determined to put a stop to that outcome. At the start of the week, hundreds of contenders bowed out in an effort to block the far-right party from the gates of power.

More than 200 candidates from Macron’s centrist party – and the left-wing alliance – stepped down in an attempt to avoid splitting the vote, with one simple goal in mind: to keep the far right well away from reaching a 289-seat majority.

Ultimately, it appears their efforts paid off. Current projections suggest that the New Popular Front will win 177 to 192 seats, with Macron’s Ensemble party in second place with 152 to 158 seats and the RN winning between 138 to 145 seats.

Ex-PM: Macron's gamble, meant to "clarify" political situation, has only complicated it

From CNN's Xiaofei Xu in Paris

Édouard Philippe, France’s former prime minister and an ally of Emmanuel Macron, said the president’s attempt to “clarify” the political situation had only led to further confusion.

Macron called the snap election three years earlier than necessary, just minutes after his party was trounced by the far right in the European Parliament election.

Although EU election results need have no bearing on domestic politics, Macron said he could not ignore the message sent to him by voters and wanted to clarify the situation.

But Sunday’s results have only muddied the French political picture, Philippe said.

Uncertainty in France comes with the Olympics just around the corner

From CNN's Antoinette Radford

The uncertainty caused by Sunday’s election result comes as France prepares to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors for the 2024 French Olympics.

With just under three weeks until the opening ceremony there is no clear choice as prime minister, after no party won a majority in Sunday’s elections.

There is already a shadow over the games, with some swimming events in doubt as there are high E. Coli bacteria waters in the water which is not safe for swimming per the standards set by World Triathlon.

Authorities have alsospent at least €1.4 billion($1.55 billion) to clean up the Seine.

Marine Le Pen's sister loses to left-wing candidate in a constituency into which she was parachuted

From CNN's Xiaofei Xu in Paris

Marie-Caroline Le Pen, sister of far-right leader Marine Le Pen and former mother-in-law of National Rallyleader Jordan Bardella, has been defeated in the northern constituency of Sarthe.

She was beaten by a candidate from the left-wing alliance New Popular Front, Élise Leboucher, according to data from the French interior ministry.

Le Pen, who was previously a regional counselor in the Greater Paris region, was parachuted into this constituency in the west of France.

Analysis: Macron's gamble has kept the far right out of power, but plunged France into chaos

From CNN's Saskya Vandoorne in Paris
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (26)

French President Emmanuel Macron reviews troops that will take part in the July 14th Bastille Day parade in Paris on July 2.

The result of Sunday’s parliamentary election runoff comes as a huge surprise, with France appearing to be on the verge of a major political shift – but not the one everyone was expecting.

No pollster predicted before Sunday that a left-wing alliance would win and that the far right would come in third place. This is a shocking reversal of the outcome of the first round of voting, if tonight’s results match the projections.

For now, France seems ungovernable. With no party projected to get close to clinching a majority, the parliament will be in a state of paralysis, split between three blocs.

The political maneuvering by French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party and the left-wing alliance this week was clearly successful. Two hundred candidates dropped out of the race in an effort to block the far-right National Rally.

But the left-wing alliance, which has seemed shaky, is going to have a hard time speaking with one voice.

Macron’s centrist bloc seems to have held up quite well. Even though it is projected to lose roughly 100 MPs and finish second, that is still a much better result than what we were anticipating.

The country now faces a leap into the unknown. It is impossible to predict the future. What we do know is that the far right is not going to govern in the foreseeable future and we will see a shift in power from the presidential palace to parliament.

Macron’s gamble on holding snap elections was widely derided at the time. While it appears to have partially worked by keeping the far right from power, it has also plunged France into unprecedented political chaos.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk says Moscow will be disappointed by outcome of French election

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has expressed relief at the projected outcome of Sunday’s election in France in a post on X.

French left-wing alliance New Popular Front will beat the far right in the second round of the snap parliamentary election, according to an IPSOS estimate following runoff elections.

The National Rally (RN) had taken aim at France’s supply of aid to Ukraine, with MarineLePen,the party’s figurehead, vowing that a prime minister from her party would prevent Kyiv using French-supplied long-range weapons to strike inside Russia and would stymie French President Emmanuel Macron’s suggestionhe mightput French boots on Ukrainian soil.

These are the latest projected results from today's election

As of revised polling released later on Sunday night, the New Popular Front, comprised of five parties, is projected to win171 to 187 seats. At least 289 seats are needed to secure an absolute majority.

President Macron’s party, Ensemble, is projected to be the second largest block with152 to 163 seats, exceeding expectations.

Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) comes a close third with between134 and 152 seatsprojected to win, a significant increase from the 89 seats won in 2022.

The RN had been expected to perform much stronger after it secured most votes in the first round.But its vote share may have been hit after hundreds of centrist and leftist candidates dropped out of the second round to keep the far-right party at bay.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal to submit resignation in the morning

From CNN's Antoinette Radford
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (27)

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal gives a speech in Paris on July 7.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said he would submit his resignation to President Emmanuel Macron on Monday morning,in accordance with his “principles.”

Speaking at a press conference following the projected results of Sunday’s election, Attal said he recognized that it was an “unprecedented political situation” that would plunge many people into uncertainty.

Attal continued in his speech that he did not want to see the nation “divided into three blocs. That is not France, it is not the politics of the French people.”

“As from tomorrow we have to work towards a new political deal which will involve all the French with clear values and guarantee a union and never yield to division.”

“We must, in all this, preserve our humanity, guarantee our security, be by the side of those who believe in France,” Attal said.

It is currently unclear who will take over as the prime minister, with no party securing an absolute majority.

"Young people screw the far right," youths chant in Parisian square

From CNN's Xiaofei Xu in Paris
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (28)

People gather at Place de la République in Paris on July 7 after France's left-wing alliance was projected to beat the far-right.

Amid celebratory scenes across the French capital, crowds of mostly young people have begun to gather at Place de la République.

We can hear people chanting: “Young people screw the National Front.”

This has become a popular left-wing slogan over the past week.

The far-right National Rally (RN) party was known for decades as the National Front, before Marine Le Pen changed the name in an attempt to freshen the party’s image and purge it of the racism and antisemitism that proliferated under the leadership of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Young people have used its old name specifically to show their hatred of the party and its extremist history.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (29)

People stand with a giant banner that reads "France is the fabric of migration.”

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (30)

People play musical instruments during a gathering at Place de la République.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (31)

A rally-goer waves a French flag.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (32)

People raise their hands during a rally at Place de la République.

Macron vows the choice of French people will be "respected"

From CNN’s Xiaofei Xu in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron has promised that the election results will be respected, the Elysee said in a statement Sunday, following projections showing that the left-wing alliance New Popular Frontis projected to finish ahead of Marine Le Pen’s party in French parliamentary elections.

“In keeping with republican tradition, he will await the structuring of the new National Assembly before taking the necessary decisions,” it added, saying that Macron is studying the results as they come in.

"Alliance of dishonor" caused National Rally to lose votes, Bardella claims following projected results

From CNN's Antoinette Radford and Pauline Lockwood
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (33)

Jordan Bardella, leader of the far-right National Rally party, delivers a speech on stage after partial results in the second round of the early French parliamentary elections in Paris on July 7.

Far-right National Rally party leader Jordan Bardella has taken aim at what he called the “alliance of dishonor” between President Emmanuel Macron and the far-left party that he claims resulted in his party losing more seats than projected.

In Sunday’s second round of elections, the National Rally (RN) was projected to lose more seats than anticipated to France’s left-wing socialist party, the New Popular Front, and Macron’s Ensemble party.

Bardella thanked the French people who he said helped his party receive an unprecedented number of votes, before taking aim at Macron’s decision to call an election.

The RN leader claimed that Macron and Prime Minister Gabriel Attal played “dangerous electoral games” with the far left and claimed the RN was put in a “compromising situation” as a result, “especially when the European election brought us to power at 34%.”

Avisibly disappointed Bardella accused Macron of not only pushing the “country into uncertainty and instability,” but also for refusing “the request for security.”

Left-wing alliance leader says France "rejected the worst-case scenario"

From Xiaofei Xu in Paris
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (34)

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the LFI, delivers a speech at the party election night headquarters in Paris on July 7.

The leader of La France Insoumise (LFI), one of the five parties in the left-wing New Popular Front, said Sunday “a magnificent surge of civic mobilization has taken hold!” and the French “people have clearly rejected the worst-case scenario.”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon,the leader of the LFI, and the most recognizable face of the New Popular Front, took to the stage shortly after the alliance’s projected surprise result for the New Popular Front alliance.

Mélenchon also addressed the question of what might happen next, with none of the parties projected to secure a majority. “The president has the duty to call the New Popular Front to govern,” he said.

Atmosphere at National Rally campaign event took nosedive in the hour before polls closed

From CNN's Melissa Bell and Joseph Ataman in Paris

The atmosphere at a National Rally campaign event at Bois de Vincennes in Paris took a nosedive in the hour before polls closed,according to a CNN team at the event.

The team says the mood was buoyant ahead of the results, with the stage set for a party. Yet, as early projections came in, the atmosphere took a nosedive.

A weak round of applause went up as the results appeared on big screens. Otherwise there was near silence from the several dozen party activists - tricolor flags in hand - assembled to watch what they hoped would be victory.

Cheers, tears and kisses on the streets of Paris as election projection announced

From CNN's Antoinette Radford
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (35)

People deploy a giant national flag reading "France is the fabric of migration" during an election night event following the projected results in Paris on July 7.

Hundreds of people erupted into cheers on the streets of Paris as it was announced that the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) was projected to beat the far-right National Rally (RN) party.

The result was a surprise after RN took the lead following the first round of elections.

In Paris, people holding signs cheered as the result came through at 8 p.m local time (2 p.m. ET).

Some people kissed and cried, others hugged one another as the result came through.

Flares were lit and people on the streets chanted “everyone hates fascists.”

France's left-wing alliance is projected to be largest bloc in parliament in surprise result

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (36)

Supporters of French far-left France Unbowed party react after partial results in the second round of the early French parliamentary elections in Paris on July 7.

In a surprise second-round result, the left-wing New Popular Front is projected to finish ahead of Marine Le Pen’s far-right party in French parliamentary elections, according to an IPSOS estimate following runoff elections.

The New Popular Front, comprised of five parties, is projected to win 172 to 192 seats. At least 289 seats are needed to secure an absolute majority.

President Emmanuel Macron’s party, Ensemble, is projected to be the second largest block with 150 to 170 seats, exceeding expectations.

Le Pen’s far-right National Rally will come a close third with between 132and 152 seats, according to the projection, a significant increase from the 89 seats won in 2022.

This is a breaking news story. We’ll bring you the latest updates as we get them.

Macron will not speak tonight, Elysee tells CNN

From CNN's Antoinette Radford and Xiaofei Xu

French President Emmanuel Macron will not speak following the results of the election tonight, the Elysee has told CNN.

Macron’s party performed dismally in the first round of the elections, trailling behind the far-right National Party (RN) and the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) coalition.

There is no standalone far-left leader, but there is an alliance

From CNN's Christian Edwards
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (37)

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the far-left France Unbowed party, delivers a speech during a rally organized by members of the New Popular Front in Paris on June 30, after partial results from the first round of voting.

Four days after Macron called the election, a cluster of parties banded together to form the New Popular Front – a coalition meant to resurrect the original Popular Front that blocked fascists from gaining power in 1936.

The capacious – and potentially fractious – alliance comprises three-time presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the France Unbowed party; the Socialists; the Communists; the Ecologists; and Place Publique, headed by the popular member of the European Parliament (MEP) Raphaël Glucksmann.

France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (38)

Raphaël Glucksmann, leader of the Place Publique party and member of the European Parliament (MEP), greets supporters during a campaign rally in Brest, France, on May 25.

It is unclear who the bloc would nominate as prime minister, nor how lasting the coalition might prove to be.

But it could deliver a blow to Macron’s Renaissance. Rather than several left-wing candidates appearing on the ballot, fragmenting the left-wing vote, there will now only be one in most constituencies, making it easier for the candidate to progress to the second round.

Polls will close in half an hour in France’s snap parliamentary election

From CNN's Christian Edwards
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (39)

People queue to vote in the second round of the election in Paris on July 7.

People across France have been casting ballots in a snap parliamentary election called by Emmanuel Macron, who has three years left of his presidential term but now risks losing swaths of his centrist allies in parliament.

The far-right National Rally (RN) party took the lead in the first round of voting last Sunday, but candidates from Macron’s Ensemble alliance and the left-wing coalition later stood down in hundreds of seats in an attempt to block the far right from government.

When that happens, a projection will be released estimating how many seats each party has won in the 577-strong National Assembly – and whether any has enough to clinch a majority.

Votes will then be counted throughout the night, with final results expected early Friday.

We’ll bring you results and analysis as soon as the polls close, so stick with us.

Who is the far-right leader Jordan Bardella and what does he stand for?

From CNN's Saskya Vandoorne and Antoinette Radford
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (40)

National Rally (RN) candidate Jordan Bardella gives a speech during a campaign meeting in Paris on June 2.

28-year-old Jordan Bardella leads France’s National Rally (RN) party.

He grew up an only childin social housing in Seine-Saint-Denis, a working-class suburb in the northeast of Paris. Bardella joined the far-right party at 16 and then briefly attended the prestigious Sorbonne universityin the French capitalbefore dropping out.

He said his experience growing up has informed his politics.

Bardella was selected to lead the RN party by Marine Le Pen in 2022. Prior to his appointment, the Le Pen family ran the party for 50 years.Jean-Marie Le Pen – the father of Marine and decades-long leader of the National Front denied the Holocaust and was viewed as too extreme a leader for the party,and Bardella’s selection was hailed as the National Rally’s attempts to detoxify it and attract a younger crowd.

Despite his attempts to rid the party of antisemitic and racist overtones, much of the party’s populist rhetoric stays the same.

Among his promises, if elected, are to:

  • Reduce immigration
  • End free medical help for undocumented people
  • End the right to French citizenship for those born to foreign parents on French soil
  • Reduce VAT on energy bills

Hundreds of candidates have dropped out of the second round to keep the far right at bay

From CNN's Saskya Vandoorne in Paris
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (41)

Marine Le Pen, far-right National Rally (RN) party candidate, speaks to journalists after partial results from the first round of voting in Hénin-Beaumont, France, on June 30.

Before French citizens started to vote in runoff parliamentary elections on Sunday, hundreds of contenders bowed out in an effort to block the far-right party from the gates of power.

More than 200 candidates from President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist camp and the left-wing alliance stepped down in a bid to avoid splitting the vote. They put aside their differences with one goal in mind: to keep the far right firmly away from the 289 seats required for an absolute majoritycurrently within their reach.

Last Sunday the French people placed the anti-immigration National Rally (RN) and its allies infirst placewhile Macron’s centrist camp came third, behind the left-wing bloc.

After the first round in constituencies where no candidate won outright, an unprecedented number of seats – over 300 - went to a three-way run-off favoring the RN. By Tuesday, as the deadline to drop out closed, fewer than 100 remain, after centrist and left-wing candidates strategically dropped out in individual seats.

Why did Macron call an election?

From CNN's Christian Edwards

Emmanuel Macron once said his thoughts are “too complex” for journalists. Still, his decision to call a snap election – three years earlier than necessary, and with his party in a weak position – baffled the sharpest of political scientists, caught even his closest allies off guard and has left many French voters confused.

Let’s try to unravel some of his complex thoughts.

One theory about why Macron called an election now is that France might soon have been forced to the polls anyway.

When Macron was reelected as president in 2022, his party failed to win an outright majority in parliament. To pass controversial bills like his pension reform, Macron has increasingly had to bypass parliament and resort to presidential decree, under Article 49.3 of the French constitution. This has outraged opposition parties and much of the public.

Every time Macron invokes Article 49.3, the parliament can hold a vote of no confidence in his government. With more spending bills slated for later this year, Macron’s government may not have survived many more of these. Perhaps he judged it is better to jump than be pushed.

Another theory is that Macron is gambling he can defeat extremist parties by exposing them to government. Macron has long feared handing over both the Elysee and the parliament to the far right in 2027, when his term ends. Some argue Macron hoped that, by giving the RN time in government before, they would have time to prove disappointing to voters.

Whether that bet pays off is another question. Jordan Bardella has said he will refuse to govern a minority government, meaning France could be left in deadlock in a mess of Macron’s making.

How does France’s parliamentary election work?

From CNN's Christian Edwards

Members of the French parliament, known as “deputies,” are elected for five years – but the president can call a snap election whenever they please,so long as it’s at least one year after the previous vote.

France’s parliament, known as the National Assembly, has 577 seats, one for each of its electoral districts. For an absolute majority, a party needs 289. In the outgoing government, Emmanuel Macron’s alliance had only 250 seats, and so needed support from other parties to pass laws.

Voting takes place over two rounds, always on Sunday.

If a candidate wins a majority of votes in the first ballot on a 25% turnout, they win the seat. Only 76 candidates were elected in the first round: 39 from the far-right National Rally and its allies, 32 from the left-wing New Popular Front, and just two from Macron’s Ensemble.

Most elections go to a second round. Only those who won more than 12.5% of ballots cast by registered voters are allowed to stand in the second round, meaning it is often fought between two candidates.

But this second round has the highest-ever number of three-way runoffs. This has led to more than 200 centrist and left-wing candidates agreeing to step down to avoid splitting the vote and keep the far right out of power.

Once the parliament is elected, the president typically appoints a prime minister from the party with the most seats. Macron now faces the uncomfortable prospect of having to appoint a prime minister from a different party to his own.

Who are the key players?

From CNN's Christian Edwards

The election is mostly a three-way contest, as Macron’s Ensemble alliance tries to hold the center ground amid attacks from the National Rally (RN) on the right and the New Popular Front (NFP) on the left.

  • Ensemble: Macron’s centrist coalition is headed by Gabriel Attal, his 35-year-old protege and the outgoing prime minister. Ensemble (“together”) comprises Macron’s Renaissance party and a cluster of other small centrist parties. It won just 21% of votes in the first round, leaving it in third place.
  • National Rally: The RN, a decades-old political party, has recently worked to freshen up its image under the leadership of 28-year-old Jordan Bardella, who was handpicked by Marine Le Pen – a doyenne of the party – to become the face of a younger, more acceptable far right. It led the first round with 33% of the vote and 39 lawmakers automatically elected.
  • New Popular Front: The hastily assembled NFP comprises several left-wing parties, from the extreme to the moderate, but lacks a central figure. Jean Luc Mélenchon, leader of the France Unbowed party, is perhaps its most recognizable face, but his radical brand of socialism means Ensemble has ruled out entering into coalition with him. The NFP won 28% of the first-round vote and had 32 lawmakers elected.

What are the roles of the parliament and president?

From CNN's Christian Edwards
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (42)

French President Emmanuel Macron visits a polling station to vote in the first round of the election in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, France, on June 30.

The National Assembly is responsible for passing domestic laws, from pensions and taxation to immigration and education.

The president determines the country’s foreign, Europe and defense policy.

When the president and majority in parliament belong to the same party, there is little trouble in passing laws. When they don’t, the government can grind to a halt.

This rare arrangement, known as “cohabitation,” has not happened since the turn of the century, when the right-wing leader Jacques Chirac was forced to appoint the Socialist Lionel Jospin as his prime minister.

Bienvenue to our coverage of the second round of French elections. Here's what to expect from the day

From CNN's Antoinette Radford
France election 2024 live: Leftists beat far right in snap vote | CNN (43)

A voter stands inside a polling booth before casting their ballot in the second round of France's legislative election at a polling station in Lyon, France on July 7.

Bonjour et bienvenue to our coverage of today’s French election. Voters have turned out in numbers across the country to cast their ballots in the second round of a parliamentary election.

Polls opened at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET) and will close soon, at 8 p.m. (2 p.m. ET).

France’s far-right National Rally party took the lead in the first round of votes. Today, we will find out how many seats they have won in France’s National Assembly, and whether the far right will govern in parliament.

One thing to note is that no matter the outcome of today’s vote, Emmanuel Macron has said he will remain as president of France.

The next presidential elections aren’t until 2027. So any party that wins will have to govern with Macron as president.

Stick with us as we bring you the latest throughout the evening.

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