- In the first round of parliamentary elections in France, a head-to-head race has begun between President Emmanuel Macron’s center-elect coalition and the left-wing NUPES coalition.
- The forecast from 8 p.m. puts the president’s middle camp at 25.2-25.9 percent, roughly on par with the leftist coalition NUPES at 25.2-26.1 percent.
- When it comes to the distribution of seats in the second round of voting within a week, expectations are that Macron’s camp will get a majority.
Soon after President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected, the French elected a new parliament, the National Assembly, which has 577 seats.
In the first round, the candidate who obtains more than 50 percent of the votes in his constituency (majors) wins. If not, all candidates who receive more than 12.5 percent of the vote must go to a second ballot next Sunday.
Macron wants to get a majority in Parliament again. Otherwise, he would have to appoint a government with a prime minister from the opposite camp (“coexistence”). French Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne sees opponents without a chance. She also warned against strengthening the left: “We cannot risk destabilization.”
Despite the losses, the leader of the French Conservatives (Les Républicains, LR), Christian Jacob, sees his party as a significant opposition force with a current 92 seats. According to forecasts, together with their allies, they achieved up to 13.7 percent of the electorate and could get 80 seats.
Mélenchon: ‘Defeat for Macron’
Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the leftist party LUPES (Left, Communists, Greens and Socialists), sees the result as a clear defeat for Emmanuel Macron. “The president’s party is beaten and defeated in the first round”. Melenchon called on citizens to go to the polls next Sunday “to categorically reject the murderous plans of the majority of Mr Macron.”
Le Pen: “A great victory”
Marine Le Pen called the RN’s performance a “massive victory”: “It is important that Emmanuel Macron does not have an absolute majority, which he will abuse to use his brutal and self-centered methods.” The second ballot provides an opportunity to send a very large group of national deputies to the National Assembly. According to extrapolation, the pool is up to 19 percent.
Macron Center Reserves
“The Macron Center Alliance currently has the best cards,” says SRF correspondent Alexandra Gopsier in Paris. It could be “his group!” I’m sure there will be a relatively comfortable majority, because his central coalition still has reserves”, that is, voters who will have to choose alternatives to their lower favorites on the second ballot. According to Gubser, LUPES currently has its own momentum, but there are no significant reserves.
Macron’s “cross with the incumbent” is that he could not sustain the success of his first election as president and after five years was unable to secure a parliamentary majority (32 percent in 2017). “Because after five years the paint has stopped and there is a new display on the left side,” Gubser says.
The second round of the parliamentary elections will be held next Sunday.
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