Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (2024)

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Summary Live Reporting Thanks for joining uspublished at 16:24 8 July16:24 8 July France's allies react as Macron remains silentpublished at 16:17 8 July16:17 8 July France 'rejected extremism,' Biden says, as Germany expresses reliefpublished at 16:03 8 July16:03 8 July Bardella accepts responsibility for defeat, promises to look at deputies' behaviourpublished at 15:44 8 July15:44 8 July Centrists rule out alliances as France Unbowed hails progresspublished at 15:27 8 July15:27 8 July Left-wing alliance is an 'unnatural union', National Rally candidate sayspublished at 15:12 8 July15:12 8 July A hung parliament 'not so unpleasant' for President Macronpublished at 14:57 8 July14:57 8 July Macron takes stock as the left starts process of choosing PM candidatepublished at 14:40 8 July14:40 8 July Le Pen thanks voters and says National Rally can 'undoubtedly' improvepublished at 14:26 8 July14:26 8 July Macron's former campaign director says he understands anger from far right voterspublished at 14:00 8 July14:00 8 July National Rally has lost - but is the largest single party in Francepublished at 13:30 8 July13:30 8 July French National Rally to join EU alliance led by Hungary PM Viktor Orbanpublished at 13:22 8 July13:22 8 July France enters a new period of deal-makingpublished at 12:48 8 July12:48 8 July Percentage of women in assembly going downpublished at 12:28 8 July12:28 8 July What now for France as Attal stays PMpublished at 12:09 8 July12:09 8 July Finance minister warns of 'financial crisis'published at 11:51 8 July11:51 8 July What's been happening?published at 11:38 8 July11:38 8 July French PM to stay in job 'for time being'published at 11:21 8 July11:21 8 July Macron asks Attal to stay on as PMpublished at 11:19 8 July11:19 8 JulyBreaking Left coalition 'very effective, but leaders have different agendas'published at 10:58 8 July10:58 8 July

Summary

  • Prime Minister Gabriel Attal resigns but French President Emmanuel Macron asks him to stay in the role for now to "ensure stability" after the election

  • France is facing political deadlock after parliamentary elections deal a blow to the far-right National Rally - but leave no party with a majority

  • National Rally have been pushed to third place, behind a hastily assembled left-wing alliance and Macron's centrists

  • While Macron must work with parliament, this election doesn't directly affect his job - he has three years left of his presidential term

  • The results come with just 18 days to go until Paris hosts the Olympic Games

Live Reporting

Edited by Barbara Tasch

  1. Thanks for joining uspublished at 16:24 8 July

    16:24 8 July

    Barbara Tasch
    Live page editor

    We are now stopping our live coverage of the reactions to the second round of the French legislative election.

    Thanks very much for joining us.

    For a comprehensive look at the political situation in France at the moment, read on here.

  2. France's allies react as Macron remains silentpublished at 16:17 8 July

    16:17 8 July

    Reaction has continued to pour in thick and fast following the results of the French legislative election, which has left the country in a political deadlock.

    It's so far unclear how exactly politicians will resolve the stalemate, but here's a recap of how things developed today:

    • Though the left-wing alliance New Popular Front (NFP) won the most seats, no party has won an outright majority
    • The party central to the NFP, France Unbowed, says work to form a government is progressing well and claims the right to nominate the new prime minister
    • Members of President Emmanuel Macron's centrist party have ruled out any power-sharing with the left alliance or the far-right National Rally, and say it will take weeks to form a coalition without them
    • Any announcement of who will become France's prime minister is likely to be days or weeks away. For the time being, Gabriel Attal has been asked by Macron to remain in the post after Attal offered his resignation
    • Macron is yet to comment on the results - he is analysing them and waiting for the full picture to emerge, the French Presidency says
    • The National Rally's Marine Le Pen has thanked voters and said her party's short-term victory was "inevitable"
    • The far-right party also pledged to look into elected candidates who have been accused of holocaust denial and support for Vladimir Putin, as it joins an alliance in the European Parliament set up by Hungary's Viktor Oban
    • Several of France's allies welcomed the results- US President Joe Biden said the country has rejected extremism, while Germany's Olaf Scholz expressed relief at the far-right's relegation

    Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (1)

  3. France 'rejected extremism,' Biden says, as Germany expresses reliefpublished at 16:03 8 July

    16:03 8 July

    Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (2)Image source, EPA

    US President Joe Biden says the election results show that France has "rejected extremism".

    "Democrats will reject it here as well," he told MSNBC, referencing the presidential elections in November.

    Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the German government was "relieved" that National Rally did not win France's parliamentary elections.

    "It would have been a big challenge if the French president had had to accept cohabitation with a right-wing populist party,” he told reporters.

    “This was avoided and now we hope that the president but also the elected deputies will succeed in forming a constructive government.”

    Scholz added that the election result was "good for "Franco-German friendship, which is so important".

  4. Bardella accepts responsibility for defeat, promises to look at deputies' behaviourpublished at 15:44 8 July

    15:44 8 July

    Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (3)Image source, EPA

    National Rally (RN) President Jordan Bardella has accepted a "share of the responsibility" in the party's loss in the French parliamentary elections.

    "We always make mistakes", French newspaper Le Monde quotes him as saying, "I assume my share of responsibility both in the victory in the European elections and in yesterday's defeat."

    Bardella also says the RN's leadership will have to look at a number of candidates elected to the National Assembly who have been accused of - among other things - holocaust denial and supporting Vladimir Putin, confirming that some RN candidates "were dismissed at the start of the campaign".

    "Ninety-nine percent of candidates are absolutely irreproachable," Bardella adds.

    The RN president has also been selected to chair the new Patriots for Europe grouping set up last week in the European Parliament, it was announced today.

    The alliance was formed by Hungary's governing Fidesz, Austria's Freedom Party and the Czech ANO.

  5. Centrists rule out alliances as France Unbowed hails progresspublished at 15:27 8 July

    15:27 8 July

    Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (4)Image source, Reuters

    The French Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin has ruled out governing with either France Unbowed - the radical left party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, nor the National Rally - the far-right party of Marine Le Pen.

    Darmanin, who won his constituency after running for re-election as a member of Emmanuel Macron's centrist Renaissance party, told French media it was "out of the question" to govern with or support a coalition of either party.

    Also speaking to French media today was Sylvain Maillard, who was also re-elected under the Renaissance party.

    Maillard said that forming a coalition that does not include France Unbowed or the National Rally will take several weeks.

    Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (5)Image source, EPA

    Meanwhile, speaking after a New Popular Front meeting, France Unbowed co-ordinator Manuel Bompard told reporters that "things are progressing very well" and preparations for government are "underway".

  6. Left-wing alliance is an 'unnatural union', National Rally candidate sayspublished at 15:12 8 July

    15:12 8 July

    National Rally candidate, Ivanka Dimitrova, says an "unnatural union" of the left-wing alliance NFP prevented voters from "having their voice heard".

    Speaking to BBC Radio 4's World at One programme, Dimitrova, who lost her bid for election in Fontainebleau, said she felt pity for those who voted for the National Rally because "they had very strong hope to have a change taking place in running the country, and this did not happen".

    Asked her thoughts on Gabriel Attal staying on as prime minister, Dimitrova said she would rather him than "an extremist left as a prime minister".

  7. A hung parliament 'not so unpleasant' for President Macronpublished at 14:57 8 July

    14:57 8 July

    More now from the French journalist Pierre Haski who spoke on the BBC News channel earlier today.

    He was asked "what next for Emmanuel Macron?"

    "It's a big question and some people are gambling on - and anticipating - him resigning," Haski says.

    "But I don't think so. I think he will try and stay on for the next three years (until the next presidential election), but in a way, having a hung parliament is not so unpleasant for him.

    Haski says it's better for Macron to have a hung Parliament because he "can't be held prisoner by the majority".

    "He can play different cards for either the National Rally or the left," he says, without a majority, "'he's in a better position to play different cards".

  8. Macron takes stock as the left starts process of choosing PM candidatepublished at 14:40 8 July

    14:40 8 July

    Barbara Tasch
    Live page editor

    It will likely be a few days - or weeks - before we find out who the next prime minister of France will be, as no single party has won an outright majority.

    But each party and political grouping is now taking stock of what the next few years should look like as the dust settles in the aftermath of a short but intense election campaign.

    According to French media, the New Popular Front (NFP), the grouping that holds the most seats in the new assembly, will meet later today.

    Meanwhile, France Unbowed - the radical left party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, which is the biggest party within the NFP grouping - is also holding a meeting at its party headquarters.

    Mélenchon is the best-known leader from the NFP grouping, but he is a divisive figure. Already, a number of left-wing politicians have ruled out supporting any potential bid for prime minister he might decide to make.

    The NFP lays claim to the right to nominate a prime minister and while they are short of an absolute majority, Macron will only be able to nominate someone who is likely to receive support from a number of political factions.

    Over in the presidential camp, 30 executives from Macron's Renaissance party are meeting at the Élysée this afternoon in order to take stock of the situation.

    As for the National Rally, it is unlikely to find enough support among other parties and groupings to put forward a candidate from within its ranks.

  9. Le Pen thanks voters and says National Rally can 'undoubtedly' improvepublished at 14:26 8 July

    14:26 8 July

    Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (6)Image source, EPA

    National Rally leader Marine Le Pen has posted on X, external thanking the 10 million people who voted for them to make it "the first party in terms of the number of votes and number of deputies".

    In her post, Le Pen calls the progress her party has made "incredible", and says it make their "short-term victory inevitable".

    She adds that the party can now take stock of what can "undoubtedly be improved in the future".

  10. Macron's former campaign director says he understands anger from far right voterspublished at 14:00 8 July

    14:00 8 July

    Jean Pisani-Ferry, Emmanuel Macron’s former campaign director of programme and ideas says, he can understand the anger from far right voters about the New Popular Front (NFP) alliance, but that there is nothing politically "unhealthy" about the NFP.

    As a reminder, the left-wing alliance won the most seats, after a highly charged and abbreviated election called only four weeks ago by a weakened President Macron.

    "They voted for the National Rally (NR) for reasons, because they felt left out," Pisani-Ferry told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme, but said "their fellow citizens did not want the NR to get an absolute majority".

    "There was nothing unhealthy about the alliances that were formed," he said.

    "By and large it was respected and by and large the voters went along with it."

  11. National Rally has lost - but is the largest single party in Francepublished at 13:30 8 July

    13:30 8 July

    Laura Gozzi
    Europe reporter

    As we've been reporting, the National Rally (RN) came third in the second round of France's election, behind the left wing alliance NFP and the centrist bloc Ensemble.

    But the breakdown of votes shows something noteworthy: the RN is currently the largest individual party in France. It has won, on its own, 125 seats.

    This means it will be the largest single group in the National Assembly, given that the left-wing alliance and Macron's coalition will each be fragmented.

    The result is a marked improvement on the RN's performance at the last legislative elections, in which it won 89 seats.

  12. French National Rally to join EU alliance led by Hungary PM Viktor Orbanpublished at 13:22 8 July

    13:22 8 July

    Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (7)Image source, Getty Images

    The far-right National Rally will join an alliance in the European Parliament led by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Hungary's government spokesperson says.

    The alliance, Patriots for Europe, was formed just over a week ago by Hungary's governing Fidesz, Austria's Freedom Party and the Czech ANO.

    They cite illegal immigration, as well as transferring more powers fromBrussels back to member states, as the chief goals of the alliance.

    It was formally recognised by the European Parliament after far-right parties from five other countries also joined: Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.

    The National Rally won the European election in France last month, which led Macron to trigger parliamentary elections.

  13. Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (8)

    France enters a new period of deal-makingpublished at 12:48 8 July

    12:48 8 July

    Andrew Harding
    Paris correspondent

    The political temperature in France has dropped a degree or two, after the frenzy and drama of the past few weeks.

    President Macron – his own position slightly stronger than it was a day or two ago – has kept his Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, in place.

    Almost certainly temporarily.

    Macron’s centrist group did better than polls had predicted in Sunday’s parliamentary election.But it was the left-wing Popular Front coalition that came first and is now promising to select its own prime minister within a week.

    That could be a struggle. The left doesn’t have enough MPs in parliament to form a majority and may need to reach out to the centre.

    Meanwhile the far right has lost its momentum for now, as France enters a new, quite probably unstable period of political deal-making.

  14. Percentage of women in assembly going downpublished at 12:28 8 July

    12:28 8 July

    Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (9)Image source, EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

    There is a smaller proportion of women in the National Assembly after Sunday's election, according to analysis by the news agency AFP.

    Now 36% of deputies are women - down 1.3 percentage points from 2022. The record high still stands at 38.8% in 2017.

    Of the larger blocs, AFP says the New Popular Front - which won the most seats in the election - has the greatest percentage of women in it's ranks in the assembly - 41.7%.

    The Republicans, meanwhile, have the lowest with 30.8%.

  15. Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (10)

    What now for France as Attal stays PMpublished at 12:09 8 July

    12:09 8 July

    Paul Kirby
    Europe digital editor in Paris

    Macron had to make a quick decision, and Gabriel Attal had made it clear he was prepared to hold on for as long as he was needed. So this was a bit of a no-brainer to keep him in place as prime minister "for the time being".

    The president has a big Nato summit to fly to in the US tomorrow night. He didn't really have the headspace for a snap decision on who should run the government.

    But the key word here is instability, which Macron has to avoid. His finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, has just warned that the most immediate risk facing France is "financial crisis and economic decline" because of France's political deadlock.

    The big question is how long Attal will stay on. The left-wing New Popular Front is agitating for the president to ask them to come up with a prime minister, pointing out that they won the election and they have the right to form a government.

    But the Macron camp may have other plans, because Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin is reportedly meeting a big group of MPs from the centrist group.

  16. Finance minister warns of 'financial crisis'published at 11:51 8 July

    11:51 8 July

    The French finance minister has warned of a "financial crisis" and the "economic decline of France" after Sunday's elections returned no political group a majority.

    In a post on X, Bruno Le Maire - who has held the role since Macron was elected seven years ago - says he believes the New Popular Front, which won the most seats, would "destroy" the economic work of the current government.

    He adds that there is a risk of "ideological fracture" in the country, and they must listen to the concerns of those who voted for the National Rally.

  17. What's been happening?published at 11:38 8 July

    11:38 8 July

    Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (11)

    France is now in political deadlock after none of the three main blocs won an outright majority in elections for the French National Assembly, with President Macron asking Prime Minister Gabriel Attal to stay on in his role for the "stability of the country".

    As we wait for reaction from the other parties and coalitions, here's everything you need to know about the fallout from last night's parliamentary election in France:

    • Last night Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said he would resign from this job - an offer that's now been rejected by the president
    • Convention says the president names a prime minister from the largest parliamentary group, with the New Popular Front saying this morning it wanted to put forward a candidate by the end of the week - there are many names they could choose from
    • It was a surprise result, as the the far-right National Rally (RN) had been widely tipped for victory - but they slumped to third place
    • RN figures have blamed their defeat on some of their opponents standing down, so a better-placed rival could stop them from winning
    • The president, meanwhile, is yet to comment on the results - he is analysing them and waiting for the full picture to emerge, the French Presidency says

    And remember, these snap elections are for members of the French parliament, and not for the president of the country - so Emmanuel Macron wasn't directly on the ballot himself.

  18. French PM to stay in job 'for time being'published at 11:21 8 July

    11:21 8 July

    Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (12)Image source, Reuters

    As we've just reported, French President Macron has asked Gabriel Attal to stay on as PM for the "stability of the country".

    Attal said he would resign as prime minister on Sunday when Macron's centrist Ensemble came second to the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP).

    The 34-year-old Attal made history when he assumed office earlier this year as France's youngest prime minister.

    We will bring you more details on this breaking development as it happens.

  19. Macron asks Attal to stay on as PMpublished at 11:19 8 July

    11:19 8 JulyBreaking

    French President Macron has decided to keep Gabriel Attal as prime minister.

    Stay with us as we bring you more as we get it.

  20. Left coalition 'very effective, but leaders have different agendas'published at 10:58 8 July

    10:58 8 July

    French journalist Pierre Haski says that France is now in a situation where National Rally has lost, but it hasn't been defeated.

    Appearing on the BBC News channel he says this is a situation no one anticipated, and that left-wing leaders would never have thought of this election a month ago, never mind achieving a "relative victory". But he says the left-wing coalition is now faced with huge questions.

    Comparing the situation to last week's general election in the UK he says: "Everybody anticipated a Labour victory. There was a shadow government, a programme (manifesto) and a leader. Here, there are none of these three conditions to govern.

    "The left are contradictory allies," he continues. "They have been at loggerheads and suddenly they have put together this alliance which was very effective - but the leaders have different agendas.

    Quote Message

    Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a radical leader and is playing the long hand. He wants to be president in 2027. But the other leaders know if this coalition fails, they will lose in three years."

    Pierre Haski, French journalist

    "National Rally got nearly 10 million votes, it increased its share of MPs in Parliament and it’s waiting for the next election," Haski says.

Macron asks French PM to stay in role for now to 'ensure stability' after election (2024)
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