Ramin Mazaheri

Press TV, Paris

The day before France votes in its first round of legislative elections, rallies were held around the country with two objectives. 

First, the far-right is expected to win their greatest number of seats in 36 years, but that still only means less than 5% of the National Assembly.

Second, the biggest question is will President Emmanuel Macron retain his absolute majority and thus the ability to ram through more austerity-minded legislation? The Left and Greens have surprisingly united, and the polls say Macron’s coalition might get upset.

The Yellow Vests were a social revolt based around economic issues, and their list of demands are more relevant than ever: lack of public services, low wages, high taxes, frozen pensions and the increasing cost of the most essential goods are now major problems across the West.

However, despite being the most popular social movement in recent French history, they aren’t going to make major political inroads into Parliament through this election. Even if Macron’s coalition doesn’t win an outright absolute majority, their right-wing economic philosophy is certain to find support among the mainstream conservative party.

They may dwindle to just 10% of seats, but that would keep the parliament controlled by right-wing ideology. As the first-round vote is often used for so-called “protest votes,” the results may be deceiving. The only certainty seems to be that Macronism has lost much of its momentum and luster since 2017.

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