While French President Emmanuel Macron’s Le Republique En Marche! party steamrollered its way to a majority in the second round of voting of parliamentary elections, his presidential rival Marine Le Pen’s National Front fell victim to France’s electoral system.
According to the French Interior Ministry, the far right National Front gained just under 1.6 million votes, placing third after En Marche! and Les Republicains, who earned the support of 7.8 million and 4.0 million voters respectively.
But, this translated to a mere eight parliamentary seats, contrasting with the 350-seat strong majority Macron and his centrist allies Modem now hold.
The result did show that Le Pen had made some headway in bringing her anti-EU, anti-immigration party closer to power, as its seat count was up six from the last election in 2012. Le Pen herself won a seat in the northern constituency of Henin-Beaumont.
“The results will allow Le Pen to consolidate her position at the helm of her party. Recall that following her defeat, the latent fractures inside (the National Front) were exposed.” advisory firm Teneo Intelligence wrote in a note Monday.
Teneo Intelligence also explained that: “Le Pen’s more secure position will allow the party to continue to steer itself towards the mainstream of French politics.” But, “the tensions inside the far-right force are unlikely to subside anytime soon,” it added.
Contrasting with National Front’s fate, Modem secured 1.1 million votes. Though this was half a million fewer that the National Front, Modem now holds 42 seats.
Emily Mansfield of the Economist Intelligence Unit told CNBC via telephone that the National Front had fallen victim to the France’s voting framework. She added that the Fifth Republic, founded after World War Two, had an “electoral system designed to keep extremist parties out.”