French elections: Macron’s party is neck and neck with left-wing bloc in the first round

Not even half of France’s eligible voters bothered to turn out to vote

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Mandiner
Campaign posters are pictured in Marseille, southern France, Sunday, June 12, 2022. French voters are choosing lawmakers in a parliamentary election as President Emmanuel Macron seeks to secure his majority while under growing threat from a leftist coalition. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Amid record low turnout, President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist “Together!” party and the left alliance (NUPES) are tied for the lead in the first round of the French parliamentary elections. The results were announced by the public television channel France 2 in an exit poll based on an estimate by the Ipsos Sopra Steria polling institute. It is estimated that both groups received 25.2 percent of votes.

According to polling, Macron’s ruling party could take the lead in the second round next Sunday and remain the strongest political formation, but it is not certain that it will gain the 289 seats in the National Assembly needed for an absolute majority.

The presidential coalition can expect between 275 and 310 seats, while NUPES will probably send 160 to 190 members to the National Assembly. In third place is the Marine Le Pen-led National Front with 18.9 percent, followed by the conservative Les Republicans with 13.7 percent and Éric Zemmour’s Reconquest with 3.9 percent of votes.

Only 47.2 percent of the approximately 48 million eligible French citizens went to the polls.

Next Sunday’s second round of parliamentary elections could affect the composition of the new government, which was appointed on May 20. Among the candidates are current Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and all cabinet members; Macron has indicated that “a member of the government who cannot win in his constituency must resign as minister.”

In France, citizens can vote for individual candidates, who, in turn, only really have a chance to get into parliament if they run for one of the larger parties. There are 6,293 candidates running for a parliamentary seat in 577 districts.

To win, a candidate must reach 50 percent plus one vote in the first round. If no one succeeds in a constituency, all candidates who have reached at least 25 percent of the votes cast can run in the second round. If no candidate achieves this result, the two front-runners will advance automatically. If, on the other hand, only one candidate receives at least this amount of support, the second-place candidate can also run.

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