Macron orders dissolution of French parliament: reaction and what now?

‘A risk’, ‘a betrayal’, ‘the only solution’: Mixed reaction to president’s surprise decision

Mr Macron’s decision to dissolve parliament has been met with very mixed reactions

“A risk”, “a betrayal” and “the only solution”: These were among the reactions from French political leaders to President Macron’s decision for the dissolution of parliament after the far-right triumphed at the European election.

Mr Macron made the announcement last night (June 9) after the Rassemblement National won the French vote in the European elections with more than double the votes of any other list. New legislative elections are now set to take place on June 30 and July 7.

Read more: Far-right win French EU elections: how did your area of France vote? 

The far-right party - led by Jordan Bardella - won out overall with 31.5% of the vote. The Renaissance party (of President Macron) came in second place with 14.5%, followed by PS-Place publique (left) with 14%. LFI (far left) received 10.1%, LR (right) had 7.2%. 

The other far-right party, Reconquête, just passed the 5% threshold to send MEPs, with 5.3%, while left-leaning Les Ecologistes achieved a similar result, with 5.5%.

Mr Macron said, on calling for a snap election: “I trust the French people’s ability to choose the best choice for themselves and for future generations.”

He said: “France needs a clear majority to be able to make decisions serenely."

Prior to this decision, new legislative elections had only been due in 2027.

The president is, perhaps, gambling on the French people coming out against the far-right when given another chance to vote, or hoping that giving more power to the Rassemblement National (Mr Bardella has already been announced as ready to become prime minister) will call its bluff, and reveal the party to be incompetent.

It is a risky strategy, and reactions to Mr Macron’s decision have been mixed.


President of the Assemblée nationale, Yaël Braun-Pivet, has already said that “there was another way”. “A path towards coalition, of a government pact,” she said.

Raphaël Glucksmann, the head of the PS-Place publique, has described Mr Macron’s actions as “complying with Jordan Bardella's demands”. 

“It is the Rassemblement National that is setting the tempo for French political life, even though it was under no obligation to do so. It's an extremely dangerous game to play with democracy and the institutions,” he said, adding that the decision would be a “stain on…Macron’s five year term”.

He said that the far-right in France was “a wave that is profoundly shaking our democracies”.

The head of the EELV-Ecologists party in Europe, Marie Toussaint, has called Mr Macron’s actions “a double betrayal”, and said they would facilitate the far right’s “coming to power”. 

“It is a betrayal of the voters who went to the polls to vote for a European election that has been stolen,” she said. 

“I am choosing my words carefully. This European election has been stolen. It's also a betrayal because, as we all know, the far right has gained ground in public opinion. It is likely to come to power in the coming weeks.

“We have an urgent need to unite the left, that’s our responsibility. Our second responsibility is to get out and vote, the mobilisation of citizens who refuse to leave France and Europe in the hands of the extreme right.”


Some have been more supportive of Mr Macron’s actions.

The president of the MoDem party, François Bayrou, said that Mr Macron’s decision was “a risk”, but a “brave move”. 

“The president is taking responsibility,” he said. “It doesn’t happen often in the history of our country. He is taking responsibility and saying to the French people: I am giving you the choice.

Head of the Les Républicains, Eric Ciotti, said that Mr Macron’s choice was the “only solution” after the European results. However, he said that he would not support “any form of coalition, cooperation, or collaboration with this power that has so damaged France”.

Bruno Retailleau, the president of the LR in the Senate, said that “Emmanuel Macron had no other choice” due to not having an absolute majority in parliament.

Head of La France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has said that the president “was right to dissolve”, but only because “he no longer has any legitimacy to continue his policies”. 

“The new France must rise up,” he said. Manual Bompard, coordinator of LFI, added: “We will build an alternative to his world and the far right. We are ready.” 

Manon Aubry, head of the LFI in Europe, said: “It is clear that the country wants to turn the page on the Macron era.”

Head of Renaissance in Europe, Valérie Hayer, said that “you can never go wrong when you give the French people the floor”. She added: “In today's world, the interests of the country and of the French people lie in Europe. This is the fight of my life.”

Unsurprisingly, the Reconquête! party - with Marion Maréchal at its head - has come out in favour. She said: “I am ready to meet…with Marine Le Pen, Jordan Bardella, Eric Ciotti, and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan to work together on the alternative that our country demands.

“I say to the party, to the people who trusted me today, you can have confidence in me, in us, to build this coalition and to prepare the coming victories. Long live the right...long live proud France!”

The RN: ‘We are ready’

Of course, the Rassemblement National has welcomed the decision with open arms. 

“We are ready to exert power if people in France trust us,” said Marine Le Pen, president of the RN, in a speech to the Assemblée Nationale. 

“We are ready to put France back on its feet, to defend the interests of the French people, to end this mass immigration; ready to put the public’s spending power back as a priority, and to restart the country’s industrialisation,” she said.