The results have left France with a political vacuum

Listen | 18:08
People celebrate during an election night rally following the first results of the second round of France's legislative election at Republique Square in Paris on July 7, 2024. A broad left-wing coalition was leading a tight French legislative election. Photograph: Olympia de Maismont/AFP via Getty Images)

On Sunday evening, France witnessed one of the biggest surprises in the country’s electoral history when the recently formed left-wing alliance won the highest number of seats in the election, dealing a surprise blow to Marine Le Pen’s far right National Rally.

The shock result followed a week of tactical voting to hold back a surge in support for the anti-immigrant National Rally, led by 28-year-old Jordan Bardella under the wing of Le Pen.

Le Pen’s party had come out on top in last week’s first round of electoral voting and appeared on track to secure the largest number of seats in parliament, if not an outright majority However, it was the leftist New Popular Front who emerged as the dominant force in the second round of legislative electoral voting.

But with the French parliament now split into three blocks and the leftist New Popular Front falling far short of the majority it needs to lead the government, the future of French politics is shrouded in confusion and uncertainty.


Irish Times Europe correspondent Jack Power joins the podcast to discuss the implications of the French legislative election results.

Presented by Sorcha Pollak. Produced by Declan Conlon.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast