A chastened Emmanuel Macron has been humiliated in the French legislative elections after he lost his absolute majority, with voters turning to the far-right and left.
The president, who only two months ago won the presidential elections, now has his tail between his legs after haemorrhaging 63 seats, meaning he will struggle to force through his centrist agenda.
The electorate turned against the leader’s ‘arrogance’, a government source said, looking instead to Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party who posted their strongest ever results in the parliamentary vote.
In the 577-member chamber, Macron’s Ensemble alliance remains the largest with 245 seats, but he will now need to rely on the support of the right-wing Republican party to meet the threshold of 289 to pass bills in the lower house.
It means he will now face a struggle to implement his manifesto promises to further deepen European Union integration, raise the retirement age and inject new life into France’s nuclear industry.
Critics say voters turned against Macron for being out of touch and elitist, failing to appoint a new prime minister for weeks after his election, the embarrassment of the chaotic Champions League final in Paris, and being too pro-business.
While the left and right focused on the cost of living crisis by cutting the cost of food and oil while raising minimum wages, Macron alienated voters after five years of loosening labour protections and slashing employment benefits.
Read more: Humiliation for Macron as French voters make him pay for his ‘arrogance’ – and turn to the far-right: President LOSES majority while Marine Le Pen’s National Rally gains more seats than ever