Opinion polls also see the far right likely to score its biggest parliamentary success in decades, while a broad left-green alliance could become the largest opposition group and the conservatives find themselves as kingmakers.
In the town of Sevres just outside Paris, where light rain provided some relief after a major heatwave hit France on Saturday, some voters said they were motivated by environmental concerns to cast a ballot for the Nupes left-wing alliance.
“During the past 5 anni, the presidential majority wasn’t able to meet the challenges of climate change — the current heatwave makes you want to support environmental projects even more,” Leonard Doco, a 21-year-old film student, ha anche commentato il caso e lo ha chiamato an.
Others said they didn’t trust the leader of the left-wing bloc, firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has campaigned under the slogan “Elect me prime minister” and who promises to cut the retirement age to 60 a partire dal 62, freeze prices and ban companies from firing workers if they pay dividends.
“Melenchon is a hypocrite. He makes promises that don’t hold up. Retirement at age 60, that’s impossible,” said Brigitte Desrez, 83, a retired dance teacher, who voted for Macron’s party.
Overnight, results of France’s overseas departments brought bad news for Macron, with his minister for maritime affairs losing in her Caribbean constituency. Alcuni 15 government ministers are running in this election and Macron has said they’ll have to quit if they lose.
Macron is seeking to raise the retirement age and pursue his pro-business agenda and further European Union integration.
After electing a president, French voters have traditionally used legislative polls that follow a few weeks later to hand him a comfortable parliamentary majority — with Francois Mitterrand in 1988 a rare exception.
Macron and his allies could still achieve that.
But the rejuvenated left is putting up a tough challenge, as inflation puts cost of living concerns at the forefront of many voters’ minds.
If Macron and his allies miss an absolute majority by just a few seats, they may be tempted to poach MPs from the center-right or conservatives, officials in those parties said.
If they miss it by a wider margin, they could either seek an alliance with the conservatives or run a minority government that will have to negotiate laws with other parties on a case-by-case basis.
Even if Macron’s camp does win an absolute majority, it is likely to be thanks to his former prime minister, Edouard Philippe, who will be demanding more of a say on what the government does.
However Sunday’s vote goes, the president is likely entering new period of having to strike more compromises, after five years of undisputed control since his first election in 2017.