Who can become prime minister in France

Who can become prime minister in France

Who will lead France after the historic legislative elections remains a mystery. The July 7 runoff election delivered, for the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic, a National Assembly without a clear absolute majority, even though the New Popular Front, the left-wing coalition created to curb the rise of the far right, is expected to be the political force leading the new government.

According to political custom, President Emmanuel Macron would be required to appoint a prime minister from the ranks of the party or the largest coalition in parliament. The left has repeatedly called on the head of the Elysée to “respect the result of the legislative elections” by appointing a prime minister from the NFP. Negotiations are in full swing and France24 has outlined the most well-known profiles of the left bloc who could aspire to the role of prime minister.

Gabriel Attal

The prime minister in office after July 7 had resigned, but Macron asked him to stay, even if only temporarily. His name could resurface in the event of an alliance between the Macronists of Renaissance and the Republicans, which he wrote about on July 10 The WorldThe goal would be to form a coalition to corner the left.

Supporting this option are some big names close to the presidential camp (including Edouard Philippe, Aurore Bergé and Gérald Darmanin) who want to avoid a government of the New Popular Front “at all costs”. Among the promoters are also some right-wingers (Bruno Retailleau, Xavier Bertrand, Olivier Marleix), who have called for the nomination of a prime minister from their camp. Within Ensemble!, however, the idea does not meet with everyone’s approval. If it were to materialize, some centrists would separate from Renaissance and could opt for external support for the New Popular Front.

Jean-Luc Melenchon

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of La France Insoumise.  Photo LaPresse

The symbol of the “rebel” left, he also boasts ministerial experience thanks to his past in the Socialist Party, from which he distanced himself in 2008. Mélenchon ran for president in 2012, 2017 and 2022, obtaining better results each time, but without ever managing to beat either Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen.

He won the elections but he will not govern: who is Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader who splits the left

This time he hopes to oust them at the Hotel Matignon, but his nomination is weighed down by the idea that he is a divisive figure, even within the left. He arouses enthusiasm (and terror) with his proposals for class struggle and neoliberalism and promises of severe taxation for the richest. He is not a mediator, but he has very clear ideas on how to make people forget the disaster of Emmanuel Macron.

Raphael Glucksmann

The man who resurrected the Socialists is called Raphaël Glucksmann, and at 44 he led his party, renamed Place publique, to an unexpected 14% in the European elections on June 9. After this feeling of rebirth, he was absorbed into the New Popular Front, a coalition he would probably have avoided but that left-wing voters loudly called for to block the Rassemblement national. Glucksmann, after a career in journalism, devoted himself to politics.

Place Publique leader Raphael Glucksmann at an electoral event in Paris, June 9, 2024. Photo Michel Euler/AP/ LaPresse

His profile is that of a moderate left, who inspires confidence in the middle class and does not frighten the elites, having attended prestigious schools himself. In foreign policy, he is a strong supporter of Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian invasion. This element could help him in the nomination by Macron, ensuring political continuity with the presidential work, also inclined to a direct involvement of the armies of the EU States against the Kremlin.

Marine Tondelier

The mediator within the left after June 9 was Marine Tondelier, 37 years old. She has a long experience in opposition to the Rassemblement National, having grown up in a small town in northern France, a stronghold of the far-right party. She recounted in a book her experience in the city council, where she resisted the attacks of the administration led by a mayor loyal to Marine Le Pen. Since 2022, she has been the leader of the ecologist Green party and can now count on the support of 28 deputies. Although far from the 74 of La France Insoumise and the 59 of the Socialists, she could gather unexpected support around her name.


Laurent Berger

The name of Laurent Berger, 55, has been circulating since before the surprising election results. He is the least “political” profile, being a former leader of one of the main French unions, the moderate CFDT. He has always been an opponent of the far right and enjoys great popularity thanks to his front-line commitment against the pension reform wanted by Macron, which has aroused the ire of a large part of the French population. Berger has declared that he does not want to become prime minister, but other exponents of the left, including Gluckmann, are counting on him to have an alternative to Mélenchon and a prime minister considered “unifying” within the left-wing coalition.

Laurent Berger Facebook