Macron could lose absolute majority in Parliament vote, says poll

French President Emmanuel Macron's party and its allies need 289 seats out of the 577 to retain an absolute majority. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (BLOOMBERG) - French President Emmanuel Macron's party and its allies could lose their outright majority in this month's legislative elections as support for a rival left-wing grouping grows, according to fresh polls published days ahead of the first round of voting.

A poll by Ifop-Fiducial for LCI TV released on Tuesday based on an online survey of 1,840 adults on June 3-6 projects that the group supporting Mr Macron will win 250 to 290 seats in the National Assembly, down from 275 to 310 in a survey in late May.

He needs 289 seats out of the 577 to retain an absolute majority.

The Nupes grouping of France's four largest left-wing parties - bringing together Jean-Luc Melenchon's France Unbowed, the Greens, the Socialist party and the Communist party - are projected to win 195 to 230 seats, up from 170 to 205 seats shown in the May poll.

A separate survey of 10,826 adults by Ipsos-Sopra Steria for Le Monde, Sciences Po (Cevipof) and Jean Jaures Foundation published on Wednesday (June 8) shows Mr Macron and his allies would win 275 to 315 seats.

The poll, carried out online on June 3-6, projects that the Nupes grouping will have 160 to 200 seats.

Projecting seat totals is difficult in parliamentary elections given the complex two-round voting system.

That can lead to disparate results.

Voting this year takes place on June 12 and June 19.

A poll published on Tuesday by Harris Interactive and Toluna for Challenges magazine projected that the group of parties led by Mr Macron would win a number of seats within a more favorable range of 285 to 335 seats.

If Mr Macron's party and its allies form the biggest bloc in Parliament while still falling short of 289 seats, the government could potentially stay in place, but it would generally be forced to pick up extra votes to pass laws, either by forming a coalition with another party or pulling in votes on a case-by-case basis.

Either scenario would, at minimum, require compromises on the bills presented, and forming a coalition could mean giving ministerial positions to rival parties in order to cement cooperation.

Abstention could be a big feature of the elections and may exceed the record of 51.3 per cent five years ago, according to Ipsos polling head Brice Teinturier.

In contrast to 2017, when voters were discovering Mr Macron, and many supported his initial measures and sensed profound political change, "there is neither desire nor strong confidence" for Macron or the Nupes grouping this time, Mr Teinturier said.

"The government is perceived as insufficiently renewed and much too slow in acting," Mr Teinturier says.

"But conversely, if Nupes won, the French people think they wouldn't do any better overall and would even do worse on most of the topics they were surveyed on."

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