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Here’s what may come after France’s election on Sunday looked set to produce a hung parliament with a left-wing alliance in charge but without an absolute majority.

What happened in Sunday’s second round of voting?

The left-wing New People’s Front alliance was on track to win the largest number of seats, according to pollsters’ predicted results, but will fall short of the 289 needed to secure an outright majority in the House of Commons.

The result is a sharp defeat for the far-right National Assembly (RN), which was expected to win the election but suffered after the NFP and President Emmanuel Macron’s Together bloc worked together between the first and second rounds of voting to create a vote against the RN.

Projections showed RN finishing third, behind Together.

It means that none of the three blocs can form a majority government and would need the support of the others to pass the legislation.

Will a left-oriented coalition emerge?

That is far from certain.

France is not used to the post-election coalition building that is common in northern European parliamentary democracies such as Germany or the Netherlands.

Its Fifth Republic was designed in 1958 by war hero Charles de Gaulle to give presidents a large and stable parliamentary majority, creating a confrontational political culture with no tradition of consensus or compromise.

Moderate left-wing politician Raphael Glucksmann, a lawmaker in the European Parliament, said the political class would have to “behave like adults”.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the hard-left France Unbowed (LFI), ruled out a broad coalition of parties of different orientations. He said Macron had a duty to challenge the left-wing alliance to govern.

In the centrist camp, Macron’s party chief Stephane Sejourne said he was ready to work with mainstream parties but ruled out any deal with Melenchon’s LFI. Former Prime Minister Édouard Philippe also ruled out any deal with the hard-left party.

Macron himself said he would wait until the new assembly finds some “structure” and decide on his next course of action.

What if no agreement can be reached?

It would be uncharted territory for France. The constitution says Macron cannot call new parliamentary elections for another 12 months.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said he would tender his resignation to Macron on Monday morning, but that he was available as a caretaker.

The constitution says that Macron decides who he asks to form a government. But whoever he chooses faces a vote of confidence in the National Assembly, which meets for 15 days on July 18. That means Macron must appoint someone acceptable to most lawmakers.

Macron will likely hope to break the Socialists and Greens from the left-wing alliance that isolates France Unbowed and form a center-left coalition with his own bloc.

At this stage, however, there was no sign of the impending disintegration of the New People’s Front.

Another option is a government of technocrats who would run day-to-day affairs but not oversee structural change.

It was not clear that the left bloc would support this scenario, which would still require the support of parliament.

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