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Macron’s Europe Minister Beaune scrapes through in French parliamentary election, saves job

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PARIS — Clément Beaune, France’s minister for European affairs, has been elected MP by the slimmest margin in the French legislative election.

After a bitter fight on Twitter and in the streets, Beaune beat Caroline Mécary, an activist and lawyer for Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s NUPES, with 50.7 percent of the vote in Sunday’s run-off, compared to Mécary’s 49.3 percent, French media reported. They were both running to be MP for the first time for Paris’s 7th constituency.

It comes as President Emmanuel Macron’s parliamentary alliance Ensemble is projected to lose its majority amid a big result for the new left-wing alliance NUPES, and an unexpected surge from the far-right.

Since the Sarkozy era, it’s been an unwritten rule that French government ministers running in the parliamentary election must resign if they lose, though none have had to do so since 2007. Of the 15 current ministers who ran in this election, three are projected a defeat at the time of publishing: Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon, Ecology Minister Amélie de Montchalin and Minister of the Sea Justine Bénin.

Mécary had come out on top against Beaune by 2,600 votes in the first round on June 12. It appears center-left Beaune was able to shore up support from a sizeable minority of right-wing voters, having shared the campaign trail with centre-right political heavyweight Edouard Philippe last week.

Crucial to Macron’s Europe strategy since 2020, Beaune chose to run for a constituency which wasn’t a safe seat for Macron’s party, and has just scraped through.

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