Macron's centrists lose control of French parliament

Emmanuel Macron defeated far-right Marine Le Pen in France's recent presidential elections, but his centrist coalition has now lost control of parliament there, its majority stripped to the bone by the left, unusually united under Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and Le Pen's surging nationalists.

Macron's centrists won 245 seats, 44 short of the 289 needed to pass laws. Left-wing and green parties won 149 seats, 135 of them under Mélenchon's NUPES alliance. Le Pen's National Rally took 89 seats, up from just 9—a spectacular breakthrough to the mainstream for the far right, stoked in part by Macron's own allies.

Some members of his party were criticized ahead of the election for suggesting that a vote for the left-wing alliance was in some cases worse than voting for Le Pen's radical nationalists — one pollster argued that ultimately the reluctance of left and liberal voters to back each other's candidates did help the far-right gain seats.