Macron supporters disappointed with parliament election results
Supporters of France's left-wing Nupes bloc celebrated on Sunday as initial projections showed President Emmanuel Macron on course to lose his absolute majority in the National Assembly.
The French President's centrist 'Ensemble!' alliance was set to end up with the most seats, the polls showed, followed by the Nupes bloc headed by the hard-left veteran Jean-Luc Melenchon.
But the threshold for an absolute majority is 289 seats in the lower house, and the four pollsters' projections showed Macron and his allies would fall well short of that.
"These results mean so much to me, there’s immense joy in seeing that Macron does not have an absolute majority," said one Nupes supporter, 17-year-old Megane Cleopatre.
Another supporter of Melenchon, Brahim, said that this was an "exceptional" day.
"We have found a great man (Melenchon) for the government who will step into the prime minister’s office."
Macron's supporters expressed disappointment in the result, and raised concerns for the future.
"We don’t know what will happen next, what deals will take place. Will the parliament group be able to function or will they make compromises with other groups?" asked Clement.
The first projections by four pollsters showed Sunday's election delivering a hung parliament.
If confirmed, a hung parliament would open up a period of political uncertainty that would require a degree of power-sharing among parties not experienced in France in recent decades, or else political paralysis and even possibly repeat elections.
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said that the result of the lower house elections, in which the camp of President Emmanuel Macron lost its absolute majority, was a "risk" for the country.
"The result is a risk for our country in view of the challenges we have to face," Borne said.
Her government will now reach out to potential partners as it seeks to rally a majority behind it, Borne said in a televised address.
"From tomorrow, we will work towards forming a majority of action... to guarantee stability for our country and carry out the necessary reforms," Borne said.
"I have trust in all of us and in our sense of responsibility," said Borne, telling voters: "We want to continue to protect you and ensure your security."
Borne herself succeeded in her race for a seat in the National Assembly in the northern Calvados region where she won a runoff vote against a challenger from the left.
Some members of her cabinet, including the environment and health ministers, failed in their bids to secure a parliamentary seat, while others like Europe Minister Clement Beaune, budget minister Gabriel Attal and Labour Minister Olivier Dussopt succeeded.
The government had previously announced that those ministers who failed in their parliamentary campaign would resign.