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French Election Analysis: EACC Paris Member Thaima Samman’s Break Down of the Vote

By Thaima Samman, EACC Paris Member

General comments

  • 577 seats to be renewed at the National Assembly, the most important chamber of the French Parliament;
  • The first round of election gives a clear advantage to President Macron’s party, La République En Marche (LREM), and paves the way for a large victory of its candidates in the second round, next Sunday.
  • Having win 32% of the votes nationally in the first round, LREM is indeed forecasted to obtain between 415 and 455 seats at the National Assembly (majority = 289 seats). If this forecast is confirmed next Sunday, President Macron will benefit from a very large majority that should allow him to adopt his proposed reforms.
  • The center-right party Les Republicains comes second, with 21.2% of the votes nationally, and should obtain between 70 to 110 seats. Marine Le Pen’s Front National obtains 13.9% of the votes nationally but the expected alliance of the other parties against it should in effect limit the number of seats ultimately gained between 1 and 5. The Socialist Party should obtain between 20 and 30 seats and the extreme-left France Insoumise between 8 and 1.
  • The abstention was exceptionally high, with a turnout rate of 48.8% against 57.7% in 2012.

Percentage of votes at the national level by Party

  • La République En Marche (Party of President Macron): 32%
  • Les Républicains/UDI (Center-right): 21.2%
  • Front National (extreme-right): 13.9%
  • France Insoumise (extreme-left) : 10.9%
  • Socialist Party and allies : 10%

Forecast for the second round based on these results (majority = 289 seats)

  • La République En Marche (Party of President Macron): 415 to 455 seats
  • Les Républicains/UDI (Center-right): 70 to 110 seats
  • Socialist Party and allies : 20 to 30 seats
  • France Insoumise (far-left) : 8 to 18 seats
  • Front National (far-right): 1 to 5 seats

Next steps :

  • June 18: second round of the Parliament elections;
  • June 19: possible appointment of a new Government based on the legislative results.

Background elements:

  • The National Assembly is one of the two houses, with the Senate, composing the French Parliament. The National Assembly is composed of 577 members elected for a 5-year mandate through a direct suffrage system organized by constituency. The 2012-2017 legislature was led by a left-wing majority formed by the Socialist Party and its allies.
  • Both houses discuss and adopt the laws, but the National Assembly has the most significant role and powers, notably as it has the final say in case of continued disagreement with the other house during the law-making process. Moreover, the French institutional tradition is that the Government is formed from within the party that has obtained the majority of seats in the National Assembly.