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France faces deadlock as left beats Le Pen’s far right in shock election result

France is facing political deadlock after parliamentary election results showed no party won an outright majority in a blow to Marine Le Pen’s far right National Rally (RN) party, which had been projected to win the largest share of the votes but ended up in third place.

A coalition of the French left, the New Popular Front (NFP), won the most seats after the second round of voting on Sunday, beating back a far-right surge that swept the country in the first round last week. President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance, which had agreed on a tactical voting pact with the left wing coalition, came second.

According to the official results released on Monday, all three main blocs fell far short of the 289 seats needed to control the 577-seat National Assembly, France’s lower and more prominent house of parliament.

The NFP gained just over 180 seats, ahead of Mr Macron’s centrist alliance, with an expected 168 seats. RN and its allies won more than 140 seats, up from 89 seats the party had gained in the 2022 legislative elections.

For days, Ms Le Pen’s party had been confident it would triumph with an outright majority, but its hopes came crashing to the ground partly due to a tactical deal between centrist and leftist opponents, who pulled more than 200 candidates from three-way races to avoid splitting the anti-RN vote.

A hung parliament is unknown territory for modern France. With no party securing a working majority, possible outcomes include the NFP forming a minority government or the creation of a broad, unwieldy coalition.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said he would tender his resignation, but that he would be willing to stay on in a caretaker role.

“I will of course do my duties as long as it’s needed – it cannot be otherwise on the eve of a date [the Olympics] that is so important for our country,” Mr Attal said.

This story is being updated

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