The American media has spent much of the past ten days throwing one of the most unhinged tantrums I’ve ever seen over President Biden and his age. Those of us who were paying attention in 2016 remember what happened when Hillary Clinton had pneumonia and the entire political commentary class decided that was more important than Donald Trump’s racism, fascism and hatefulness. This feels like more of the same. I bring that up because, in a matter of days, British voters and French voters soundly rejected the hate and fascism from the political right-wing. In France, the situation felt even more dire, as many pundits predicted a surge in support for Marine Le Pen and her Nazi-lite party. But French people ended up rejecting Le Pen and most of her Nazi colleagues.

The left-wing alliance in France won the most seats in parliament in a dramatic election, dealing a surprise blow to the far-right party of Marine Le Pen.

In the first round of voting a week ago Le Pen’s National Rally came top and was aiming to secure the most seats in France’s legislature for the first time in the party’s history on Sunday. But tactical voting and collaboration between Le Pen’s opponents to keep her party out of power paid off, final results showed.

The election, however, looks set to throw the country into a period of political turmoil, with no single group coming close to winning enough seats for a majority in parliament.

President Emmanuel Macron gambled on a snap election after a stunning defeat in last month’s European Parliament election, promising “a clarification” he hoped would put the far right back in its box. Instead, he lost seats and landed France in greater uncertainty.

Even so, the mood inside the president’s camp was upbeat on Sunday night, with Macron himself striking a defiant tone. At a gathering of his political allies, the French president galvanized his troops: “Our ideas are still alive and [we] haven’t lost voters,” he claimed, according to one participant who spoke to Paris Playbook.

Macron’s own position as president was not at stake: He is due to remain in office until 2027. His Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has said he’ll offer to resign, though who could take over is far from clear.

[From Politico]

“Instead, he lost seats and landed France in greater uncertainty.” Yeah but the Nazis were still defeated, right? I get that it’s more complicated than that, but after so many years where it felt like the far right was on the march across Europe and North America, it’s notable that the trend is actually the opposite, that when voters get the chance to reject racism, hate and a rollback of civil rights, voters actually show up and do the thing they need to do. That should be applauded and let the French people have their victory.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.