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Le Pen has been defeated by the left, but who will govern France? Our panel responds


Tactical voting kept the far right from election victory – but with gridlock in parliament the future is unclear

France’s snap elections have produced the most fragmented parliament since Charles de Gaulle founded the Fifth Republic. The two-round majority electoral system was designed to avoid political instability and contain the extremes. The system failed to achieve the first, with a new hung parliament divided into three comparable groups that will keep any government that is formed under constant threat of no-confidence votes. It only partially succeeded on the second; stopping the far-right National Rally (RN) from taking power, but not preventing its exponential growth in parliamentary seats from eight to more than 120 between 2017 and 2024.

Rym Momtaz is a consultant research fellow for European foreign policy and security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)

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