The center alliance of France’s recently re-elected head of state Emmanuel Macron averted a defeat in the first round of the parliamentary elections by a hair’s breadth. With a lead of only about 20,000 votes nationwide, Macron’s camp came first, ahead of the new left-wing alliance, according to the preliminary results.

In the decisive second round of the election, a clear victory for the middle camp is still expected. At first glance, this seems contradictory, but it is due to the complicated majority voting system. Nevertheless, Sunday’s result is a heavy blow for Macron. The most important things after the first ballot at a glance.

The candidates from Macron’s center alliance got the most votes, even if they are threatened with significant seat losses in the National Assembly. They came to 25.75 percent nationwide. The alliance of left-wing politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon, made up of leftists, communists, greens and socialists, was just behind with 25.66 percent – which in itself represents a defeat for the head of state. Marine Le Pen’s right-wing Rassemblement National (RN) party received 18.68 percent of the vote. The Republicans, currently the strongest opposition force in the National Assembly, brought in 10.42 percent.

Of the 577 mandates to be awarded, only 2 were directly decided in the first round. The rest will be disputed in the second round of voting next Sunday. There, at least the two first-placed voters from each voting district and all those who received more than 12.5 percent of the votes of all registered voters face each other. The Left Alliance is forecast to have 150 to 210 seats, Macron’s Alliance 255 to 310, which could be enough for an absolute majority.

It is to be expected that some candidates who have made progress will now withdraw their candidacy in order to prevent either a left-wing or a right-wing politician from winning. As a politically centered force, Macron’s camp should be able to benefit more from voter migration than the left-wing alliance. This is already included in the forecasts.

Forecasts paint the left no chance of getting a majority in the National Assembly. However, they are clearly heading towards becoming the strongest opposition force and thus gaining influence. Should Macron’s camp lose an absolute majority, Mélenchon’s alliance could make it difficult for the government to pass legislation.

Marine Le Pen’s party has so far had eight seats in parliament. Now she can hope for 10 to 45 seats. The fact that it shouldn’t be significantly more has to do with the majority voting system. From 15 seats, the block around Le Pen would get faction status.

Even if Macron only has a relative and not an absolute majority in parliament, Germany and Europe can still count on France as a reliable partner. Mélenchon’s Left Party may be adopting a Euro-critical tone, but his alliance will probably not consistently present itself in parliament. It is to be expected that Socialists and Republicans will vote with the Macron camp on issues relating to Germany and Europe. France will also remain an integral part of the West’s united front against the aggressor Russia in the Ukraine war.