Macron’s camp could miss absolute majority in parliament, polls show

The centrist camp of French President Emmanuel Macron is not guaranteed to win an absolute majority in this month’s legislative elections, two polls showed on Tuesday.

Macron won a second mandate in April as France’s centrist, pro-European president.

But he also needs to win a majority in the lower house of parliament in the June 12 and 19 ballot to be able to implement his reform agenda, and polls have shown support is shrinking.

The absolute majority is at 289 seats, but Macron’s Renaissance party and allies could win as little as 250-290 seats, according to a poll by the Ifop institute for broadcaster LCI.

The same pollster last week saw Macron’s party and its allies winning 275-310 seats.

A Harris Interactive – Toluna poll for Challenges magazine on Tuesday had a more optimistic forecast of 285-335 seats for Macron’s camp, but there too it could be short of an outright majority.

A minority cabinet or coalition government would be an unusual scenario for modern-day France. The Fifth Republic was designed to avoid unwieldy coalitions.

The left-wing coalition led by hard-left veteran Jean-Luc Melenchon is seen second in polls, but the conservative Les Republicains could end up being kingmakers, if Macron’s Ensemble alliance falls short of an absolute majority.

Macron’s La Republique en Marche party single-handedly won 314 seats in the 2017 legislative elections but gradually lost lawmakers to stand at just under 270 now.

It maintained control over parliament thanks to its allies, who have around 80 lawmakers.

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