The Latest | In a surprise, French leftists win the most seats in legislative elections

Final results in France say a leftist coalition that came together to try to keep the far right from power has won the most parliamentary seats in runoff elections

Final results in France say a leftist coalition that came together to try to keep the far right from power has won the most parliamentary seats in runoff elections. There was high voter turnout Sunday.

President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance has come in second and the far right in third. No one has a majority of parliament seats. The far right has drastically increased the number of seats it holds in parliament but fell far short of expectations.

The prime minister says he will turn in his resignation. Many questions lie ahead.

What happens next in this nuclear-armed nation has potential impact on the war in Ukraine, global diplomacy and Europe’s economic stability.

Here’s the latest:

French stocks open lower after Sunday's election leaves parliament seats divided

French stocks opened on a dip after Sunday's election left the National Assembly without a majority for any political group, but rose as markets digested the results.

The CAC-40 index of large companies was off 0.4% shortly after the open Monday at 7643.03. It rose 0.4% shortly after to 7708.24.

The markets worst fear, analysts say, was a majority for either the left-wing New Front National or for the anti-immigrant National Rally led by Marine Le Pen. Both parties have made spending promises that raised fears that France’s large deficit would swell. That already led to a sell-off in French government bonds.

Though that outcome was avoided, France now faces weeks of uncertainty since there’s no clear majority for any of the main political forces in parliament to support a new government after Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said he would resign. That raises the likelihood that any new government will find it difficult to pass legislation and make tough spending choices in order to keep the country’s debts and deficit from getting out of hand.

“That the left has become the strongest group in parliament raises serious concerns,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank. “France is heading for a period of political uncertainty and — most likely — for fiscal problems and some reversal of president Emmanuel Macron’s pro-growth reforms."

It’s official: French voters reject a far-right majority in favor of the left

Final results say a coalition of the French left has won the most seats in legislative elections.

The leftist coalition has taken the most seats in parliament, with at least 181. Macron’s centrists have more than 160 seats. Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally have 143 seats after leading in the first round.

There is no majority for anyone, so the unpopular Macron will have to form alliances to run the government.

France now faces the stunning prospect of a hung parliament and political paralysis in a pillar of the European Union. The Paris Olympics are less than three weeks away.

French prime minister says he will resign

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal says he will resign after a leftist coalition surged to the lead in legislative elections.

Attal says he will remain in the post during the upcoming Paris Olympics and for as long as needed, given that polling projections show that no party has won an outright majority. There likely will be weeks of intense political negotiations to choose a new prime minister and form a government.

The leftist coalition dominated in the parliamentary vote, followed by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrists, with the far right in third. The results were a defeat for Macron, with no party in a majority. The unpopular president risks being forced to share power with a prime minister opposed to his pro-business, pro-European Union policies.

Macron will ‘wait’ to make decisions on new government

President Emmanuel Macron’s office says he will “wait for the new National Assembly to organize itself” before making any decisions on the new government.

The National Assembly is scheduled to gather in full session for the first time on July 18. The statement says Macron will ensure the “sovereign choice of the French people will be respected.”

Surprise polling projections say a coalition on the left that came together to try to keep the far right from power has won the most parliamentary seats, with Macron's alliance second and the far-right National Rally third.

A somber far right still claims historic gains

The president of France’s far-right National Rally has claimed historic gains for the party despite surprise projections showing it has fallen far short of expectations.

Jordan Bardella also blamed President Emmanuel Macron for “pushing France into uncertainty and instability.”

In a somber speech after the second-round vote, Bardella denounced the political maneuvering that led the National Rally to fall far short of expectations. An unprecedented number of candidates who qualified for the runoff stepped aside to allow an opponent to go head-to-head with the National Rally candidate, increasing the chances of defeating them.

The anti-immigration, nationalist party still increased its seat count in parliament to an unprecedented high, according to polling projections. No party won a majority.

Leftist leader calls the results an ‘immense relief’

Leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon says the surprise results of the legislative elections are an “immense relief for a majority of people in our country.” He is also demanding the resignation of the prime minister.

Mélenchon is the most prominent of the leftist leaders who unexpectedly came together ahead of the two-round elections. Polling projections have put the leftist coalition in front, followed by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance and the far right in third.

There is a lack of majority in parliament for any single alliance.

French leftists win most seats in legislative elections, pollsters say

Polling projections say a coalition on the left that came together unexpectedly ahead of France’s snap elections has won the most parliamentary seats.

The surprise projections put President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance in second and the far right in third. The lack of majority for any single alliance has plunged France into political and economic turmoil.

Final results are not expected until late Sunday or early Monday in the snap election that was called just four weeks ago in a huge gamble for Macron.

The deeply unpopular president lost control of parliament, according to the projections. The far right drastically increased the number of seats it holds in parliament but fell far short of expectations.

France now faces the prospect of weeks of political machinations to determine who will be prime minister and lead the National Assembly. And Macron faces the prospect of leading the country alongside a prime minister opposed to most of his domestic policies.

Macron meets with leaders from his alliance before polls close

French President Emmanuel Macron is meeting with leaders from his weakened majority alliance before polls close in Sunday’s second round of legislative elections. Among those present is Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, according to an aide to the president who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door meeting.

Many of Macron’s centrist political allies are furious at his decision to call the surprise elections just three weeks after the far-right National Rally trounced his party in European elections. They fear the centrist coalition will be wiped out in favor of the far right and left.

The first-round vote on June 30 saw major gains for the National Rally, potentially putting the far right in a position to govern France for the first time since World War II. Macron risks being forced to share power with a prime minister opposed to his pro-business, pro-European Union policies.

Some French youth are astonished by support for the far right

Some French youth are astonished by the number of people supporting the far-right National Rally in legislative elections.

Nawel Marrouchi is 15 and wishes she was old enough to vote. “As a binational, I am directly concerned,” the French-Moroccan said in Paris. She fears racism will gain even more ground: “In my class, one guy said once that foreigners shouldn’t get housing. But my father was an immigrant. They should go to these countries to understand why they are coming here.”

Jessica Saada is 31 and says “I think young people have not woken up yet. They don’t realize.” She is baffled by the party’s past and present positions on issues like wearing a headscarf in public: “It’s just going to cause problems and bring more hate.”

Even if the anti-immigration party doesn’t win a majority in parliament, she believes the damage is done.

With three hours before polls close, the turnout is 59.71%

With three hours to go before polls close in France's second round of high-stakes legislative elections, the latest figure on the turnout is 59.71%. It’s the highest turnout since 1981 at this time in the voting day.

The overall turnout is on track to be the highest in four decades. Polls close at 8 p.m. local time.

A pro-independence candidate in New Caledonia wins a parliament seat

In the restive French Pacific territory of New Caledonia, a pro-independence Indigenous Kanak candidate has won a seat in France's parliament over a loyalist candidate in the second round of voting.

Emmanuel Tjibaou is a political novice and a son of a well-known Kanak independence leader, Jean-Marie Tjibaou, who was assassinated in 1989. He is the first pro-independence candidate to win a seat in the National Assembly since 1986.

Indigenous Kanaks have long sought to break free from France, which took the archipelago in 1853. Polls closed earlier in New Caledonia because of a curfew imposed in response to the violence that flared last month and left nine people dead. There was anger over an attempt by the government of President Emmanuel Macron to amend the French Constitution and change voting lists, which Indigenous Kanaks feared would further marginalize them.

Right-wing candidate and French loyalist Nicolas Metzdorf has won New Caledonia’s second parliament seat.

Macron votes

French President Emmanuel Macron voted in high-stakes legislative elections Sunday that could force him to share power with the rising far right.

Macron called the surprise vote after the anti-immigration, nationalist National Rally made huge gains in the June 9 European elections, taking a huge gamble that French voters would block the far-right party as they always have in the past.

But the National Rally instead won a larger share than ever in the first round on June 30, and its leader Marine Le Pen called on voters to give the party an absolute majority in the second round.

Sunday’s vote determines which party controls the National Assembly and who will be prime minister. If no party wins an absolute majority, forming a government comes only after extensive negotiations.

Early turnout reported

As of noon local time, turnout was at 26.63%, according to France’s interior ministry. That’s slightly higher than the 25.90% reported at the same time during the first round of voting last Sunday.

Parisians worry about future after casting ballots

Voters at a Paris polling station were acutely aware of the elections’ far-reaching consequences for France and beyond.

“The individual freedoms, tolerance and respect for others is what at stake today,” said Thomas Bertrand, a 45-year-old voter who works in advertising. He voted at a school where, as at all French schools, the national motto “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” was displayed prominently.

Pierre Lubin, a 45-year-old business manager, was worried about whether the elections would produce an effective government.

“This is a concern for us,” Lubin said. “Will it be a technical government or a coalition government made up of (different) political forces?”

Even with the outcome still in doubt, Valerie Dodeman, a 55-year-old legal expert, said she is pessimistic about the future of France.

“No matter what happens, I think this election will leave people disgruntled on all sides,” Dodeman said.

Prime minister casts ballot in Paris suburb

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal cast his ballot in the Paris suburb of Vanves Sunday morning.

Macron is expected to vote later in the seaside town of La Touquet, while Le Pen is not voting after winning her district in northern France outright last week. Across France, 76 candidates secured seats in the first round, including 39 from her National Rally, 32 from the leftist New Popular Front alliance, and two from Macron’s centrist list.

Polls open in mainland France for the second round of high-stakes legislative elections

Voting opened Sunday in mainland France for the second round of high-stake legislative elections that have already seen the largest gains ever for the country’s far-right National Rally party.

French President Emmanuel Macron took a huge gamble in dissolving parliament and calling for the elections after his centrists were trounced in European elections on June 9. The first round on June 30 saw the largest gains ever for the anti-immigration, nationalist National Rally, led by Marine Le Pen. Sunday’s vote determines which party controls the National Assembly and who will be prime minister.

If support is further eroded for Macron’s weak centrist majority, he will be forced to share power with parties opposed to most of his pro-business, pro-European Union policies.

The second-round voting began Saturday in France’s overseas territories from the South Pacific to the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and North Atlantic. The elections wrap up Sunday at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) in mainland France. Initial polling projections are expected Sunday night, with early official results expected late Sunday and early Monday.

Candidates make hurried deals to try to stop far-right National Rally from leading government

Opposition parties made hurried deals ahead of Sunday's second round of voting to try to block a landslide victory for Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally in the legislative elections, as she said her party would lead the government only if it won an absolute majority — or close to it.

An unprecedented number of candidates who qualified for Round 2 from the left-wing alliance of the New Popular Front and from President Emmanuel Macron’s weakened centrists have stepped aside to favor the candidate most likely to win against a National Rally opponent.

According to a count by French newspaper Le Monde, some 218 candidates who were supposed to compete in the second round have pulled out. Of those, 130 were on the left, and 82 came from the Macron-led centrist alliance Ensemble.

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