Violence breaks out on streets of France as far-right National Rally loses to left-wing alliance in election

Violent clashes erupted on the streets of France as a left-wing coalition won the most seats in the parliamentary elections, beating Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally which came third.

The results dashed Ms Le Pen's hopes of forming the country's first hard-right government since the war as footage showed masked protesters on the streets with flares and as around 30,000 riot police were deployed.

Results following the the polls closing on Sunday evening put President Emmanuel Macron's centrist alliance in second place and the far right in third.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said he planned to resign, although he will stay on for the duration of the Paris Olympics.

Mr Macron on Monday asked him to stay in the role for the time being to "ensure stability" after the election.

France is now in political limbo, with a hung parliament as no party or alliance has won a majority of seats.

The left won 182 seats, Mr Macron's centrist alliance 168 and Ms Le Pen's National Rally (RN) and allies 143, interior ministry data cited by Le Monde newspaper showed.

In Paris's Stalingrad square, supporters on the left cheered and applauded as projections showing the alliance ahead flashed up on a giant screen.

Cries of joy also rang out in Republique plaza in eastern Paris, with people spontaneously hugging strangers and several minutes of nonstop applause after the projections landed.

Mr Macron's office said the president would "wait for the new National Assembly to organise itself" before making any decisions.

The unpopular president lost control of parliament, and will have to form alliances to run it.

A fragmented parliament will make it hard for anyone to push through a domestic agenda and is likely to weaken France's role in the European Union and further afield.

Ms Le Pen's far right drastically increased the number of seats it holds in parliament but fell far short of expectations.

France now faces the prospect of weeks of political manoeuvring to determine who will be prime minister and lead the National Assembly.

French leftist leader Jean-Luc Melenchon called the results an "immense relief for a majority of people in our country" and he demanded the resignation of the prime minister.

Mr Melenchon is the most prominent of the leftist leaders who unexpectedly came together ahead of the two-round elections.

For 46-year-old Mr Macron's centrists, the legislative elections have turned into a fiasco.

He stunned France, and many in his own government, by dissolving parliament's lower house, the National Assembly, after the far right surged in French voting for the European elections.

Mr Macron argued that sending voters back to the ballot boxes would provide France with "clarification".

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