In what will initially be a huge relief to the French President, lawmakers from the National Assembly rejected two motions.

One was from the far-right National Rally and the second – a more threatening one from a small centrist group – that gathered support across the left.

The first motion from the centrists garnered 278 votes, falling just nine votes short of the 287 needed to pass, while the far-right initiative won just 94 votes.

Defeat from both votes by the opposition aimed at stopping the hugely-contested pension reforms in their tracks mean the associated bill has effectively been adopted.

But the tight result from the first vote has seen pressure continuing to build on Mr Macron and his Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne from many on the left.

Hard-left lawmaker Mathilde Panot said: “Only nine votes are missing to bring both the Government down and its reform down.

“The Government is already dead in the eyes of the French, it doesn’t have any legitimacy any more.”

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen – who lost out to Mr Macron in the last presidential elections last year – said her group will file a request for the Constitutional Council to examine the bill on Tuesday and possibly censure it.

The no-confidence motions had been filed by furious ministers after Mr Macron ordered the use of special constitutional powers to force through a bill – without giving them a vote – that would see the retirement age raise to 64.

Last week the Senate, which is dominated by conservatives who back the plan opposed by millions of French people, had approved the legislation.

Today’s no-confidence motions would have required the support of half the seats in the National Assembly to pass.

But Mr Macron and his centrist alliance – which has more seats than any other group in the lower chamber – narrowly survived.

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