Macron’s left wing finds itself further weakened by electoral setbacks

Formerly Socialist pro-Macron MPs had a hard time influencing the president over the five years of his first term.

By Alexandre Lemarié
June 24, 2022

It was a political carnage. Only a handful of left-leaning figures are now left in President Emmanuel Macron’s relative majority at the Assemblée Nationale. The faction was already struggling to influence the government and had seen their numbers dwindle over the previous five years. The government reshuffle and legislative elections dealt two additional and nearly fatal blows in quick succession.

In the 2nd round of the legislative elections on June 19, many La République en Marche (LRM) MPs with social democratic or environmentalist backgrounds were eliminated. Most of the victims were Macronists who had been elected in left-wing districts back in 2017 and have now been hit hard by the wave of backlash called dégagisme (literally “get out-ism”) that characterized the legislative elections. Among the most visible figures to lose their posistions were the Assemblée Nationale President Richard Ferrand and the LRM group president Christophe Castaner. The departure of these two historical Macron loyalists leaves a void in the president’s entourage, where they had a real influence.

In July 2020, for example, they had convinced him not to appoint Jean-Michel Blanquer to the Interior Ministry on the grounds that his beliefs were “too far to the right” on certain sensitive topics, in particular secularism. When Prime Minister Jean Castex had to be replaced, they did all they could to dissuade Mr. Macron from appointing Catherine Vautrin, a member of Les Républicains.

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