French election results directly pose the issue of working class taking power

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THE SECOND and final round of voting for the French Parliament ended on Sunday night with the fascist National Rally (RN) party suffering a shock defeat just weeks after it was confidently predicted they would win a majority and seize power.

This prediction of an outright win by the RN, led by Marine Le Pen, followed their success in last week’s first round of voting which saw them achieve a clear win with 33% of the vote.

In this first stage, the hastily assembled New Popular Front (NFP) came second with 28% while the right-wing coalition of President Emmanuel Macron came third.

All this changed in the final round with the NFP emerging as the largest party with 182 seats, followed by Macron’s ‘Together’ alliance on 163, while Le Pen’s National Rally came in third with 143 seats in parliament.

The result has thrown the French political scene into a state of chaotic despair as the French ruling class see their favoured RN party failing in its promised victory. Although the largest party, the NFP is over 100 seats short of an absolute majority with the parliament now split between the right-wing centrists, the neo-fascists and the NFP.

None of this detracts from the fact that the French working class and youth voted in what was amongst the highest turnout for a general election to block the seizure of power by Le Pen’s party through parliamentary elections.

Much has been made in the bourgeois press, and by Le Pen herself, that the election was ‘stolen’ from the RN through tactical voting.

They cite the cobbling together of the New Popular Front by the Communist Party, Greens, and the Socialist Party (the French equivalent of the British Labour Party) and led by La France Insoumise (LFI) party led by the ‘left’ Jean-Luc Melenchon.

The reality is that French workers and youth turned to the NFP precisely to thwart the parliamentary victory of the fascists who have been gathering increasing support and financing from the French financial sector and hedge fund operators.

But there must be no illusion that the New Popular Front offers any future for the working class. Already it is splitting apart, with the leader of the Socialist Party, Raphael Gluckmann, calling for ‘discussions’ and ‘dialogue’ with a conciliatory approach to Macron’s party.

Melenchon, for his part, has insisted that as the largest party the NFP must demand Macron appoint a prime minister from this alliance and implement in its entirety the NFP’s programme of ‘left reformism’.

Macron has countered that he has no intention of resigning as President until his term in office expires in 2027 while leading members of his party have called for rule by a coalition government ‘without the radicals’. What is clear is that French workers are in no mood for conciliation with Macron and are rising up against the French fascists.

Before the first round of voting, nearly a quarter of a million workers took part in mass rallies across France calling on the working class to rise up and block Le Pen from taking power giving impetus to the New Popular Front.

Having thwarted the plan for Le Pen to seize power through elections, the working class now confronts a situation of complete chaos and political meltdown of the old bourgeois parliamentary regime.

The New Popular Front has split, just hours after its election success, and has no way forward except to play the role of diverting the working class away from the central issue posed today, namely that of taking power.

The time is ripe for the French working class to use its full strength by demanding that the trade unions call an indefinite general strike to put an end to the political chaos and the threat of fascism by bringing down the presidency of Macron and the French parliament replacing them with a workers’ government and socialism.

This requires the immediate building of a revolutionary section of the International Committee of the Fourth International in France to give the leadership required for the victory of the French socialist revolution.

This will win the support of workers across the UK and Europe and herald the beginning of the British and European socialist revolution.