France Politics

Macron’s party loses absolute majority with creation of centre-left political group

Assemblée Nationale, 22 March 2020.
Assemblée Nationale, 22 March 2020. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

A former member of Emmanual Macron’s LaREM party has set up a new left of centre parliamentary group called Ecologie, Democratie, Solidarité.


Macron’s party will now be one seat short of an absolute majority in parliament, with 288 seats instead of the 289 necessary.

The loss of its majority has a certain symbolic significance but is unlikely to create real problems for the president’s party as the LaREM can usually count on the support of the centrist Modem party in votes.

In any case, the LaREM is likely to recover its majority again in a few weeks, when a departing MP looks set to be replaced by another LaREM MP.

The man behind the formation of the new group is former LaREM MP Matthieu Orphelin, a close friend of the prominent ecologist Nicolas Hulot, who himself resigned from a post as  environment minister in 2018, criticizing Macron for what he judged to be a lack of commitment on ecological issues.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Orphelin elaborated on the group’s name, asserting that ecology, democracy and solidarity were "3 inseparable priorities". He said that the Covid-19 crisis meant it was necessary to “overcome divisions and postures”.

The new group numbers 17 MPs including 7 who were formerly LaREM members.

Among them is Aurélien Taché, one of the party's most recognizable MPs.

He told the French newspaper, Le Journal du dimanche, on Sunday that Macron "had made overtures only to the right", since the start of his presidency, although the LaREM party had originally claimed to be niether left nor right wing.

Mathematician Cedric Vilani, is another high profile defector. He campaigned to be Mayor of Paris, competing against the official LaREM candidate before being defeated in the first round held on March 15th, two days before the lockdown.

Ahead of the group’s announcement there was speculation that the new group would be larger but two LaREM MPs who were expected to sign up, changed their minds at the last minute.


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