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French Election 2024 Live: New Left Popular Front Wins Most Seats, Macron’s Bloc Second, Le Pen’s Third

French Election 2024 Live: New Left Popular Front Wins Most Seats, Macron’s Bloc Second, Le Pen’s Third

Cheers erupted in the streets of Paris late Sunday as projected results suggested the left-wing New Popular Front would beat the far-right National Rally party in France’s early parliamentary elections.

Later, a large crowd gathered in the capital’s Republic Square to celebrate the leftist coalition’s victory in parliament, chanting: “Young people, crush the National Front,” a popular leftist slogan.

The Free France Alliance is a coalition of parties ranging from the far-left France Insoumise to the more moderate Socialist Party and the Ecological Party.

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

Polling workers begin counting votes in Schiltigheim, France.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the France Insoumise movement, told a crowd of jubilant supporters near Stalingrad Square that the results were a “huge relief for the overwhelming majority of people in our country”.

“Our people have clearly rejected the worst-case scenario,” Mélenchon said. “A fantastic wave of civil mobilization has taken hold!”

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

Late Sunday evening, police cleared Republic Square by firing tear gas at crowds, most of whom were young.

But protesters remained upbeat, with images showing people across the city cheering and celebrating.

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People react to the results expectations in Paris.

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

In Paris’s Bois de Vincennes, the atmosphere at a National Party election event deteriorated an hour before polls closed, after it became clear that the far-right bloc would come in third place in the vote.

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

After the offer is announced, Jordan BardellaThe 28-year-old leader of the National Front party said France was in a state of “uncertainty and instability”.

Despite leading after the first round of voting, the far-right National Rally party led by Marine Le Pen and its allies won 143 seats.

With no party able to obtain a majority, parliament is likely to be paralyzed, divided between three blocs.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally party, speaks to reporters in Paris after partial results showed her party would fall short of a majority.

The National Rally’s strong showing in the first round has raised fears that France is about to elect its first far-right government since the collaborationist Vichy regime during World War II.

But Sunday’s results came as a major surprise, showing the overwhelming desire of French voters to prevent the far right from coming to power – even at the cost of a hung parliament.

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

President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble coalition, which fell to third place in the first round of voting last Sunday, staged a strong recovery to win 163 seats.

Macron’s protégé Gabriel Attal announced he would resign as prime minister on Monday morning. He appeared to criticize Macron’s decision to call the early vote, saying he “did not choose” to dissolve the French parliament.

Crowds gather during a nighttime election 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. Normally, 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 “cohabitation.”

Speaking to supporters near Stalingrad Square, Mélenchon said Macron “has a duty to invite the new Popular Front to govern.”