France goes to the polls again for the first round of legislative elections
Steph Deschamps / June 12, 2022
Will Emmanuel Macron, just re-elected, have a parliamentary majority to implement his program? This is the major issue of the legislative elections. Opposite him, a revitalized left behind Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whose breakthrough will already be seen in the first round this Sunday.
After those of a good part of the overseas territories on Saturday, the citizens of metropolitan France are expected to go to the polling stations from 8:00 am. The massive abstention feared - more than 50% of the 48 million voters - could arbitrate the match by proxy between the head of state and the third man of the presidential election, now the boss of the left. Abstention from the legislative elections has only increased since the 1993 elections, rising from 31% that year to 51.3% in 2017. It primarily affects young people and working-class groups.
The left-wing alliance Nupes (LFI, PCF, PS and EELV) is running neck and neck in voting intentions with Ensemble!, a Macronist coalition of LREM/Renaissance, MoDem and Horizons. But in the second round on Sunday, June 19, the reserves of votes could be lacking for the Nupes to go for victory, unless a strong mobilization of abstentionists of the first round. The latest polls published on Friday put Ensemble! in the lead in terms of the number of deputies, but not necessarily with an absolute majority of 289 seats out of 577.
If Emmanuel Macron were to win only a relative majority, he would be forced to deal with the other parliamentary groups to get his legislation approved. If, in the least likely scenario, Jean-Luc Mélenchon's Nupes won an absolute majority, Emmanuel Macron would be deprived of almost all his powers. It is no longer he who will determine the nation's policy, but the majority in the National Assembly and the Prime Minister who will come from it, summarizes Dominique Rousseau, professor of constitutional law at the University of Pantheon-Sorbonne.
On the far right, the RN is showing measured ambitions. After Marine Le Pen won more than 40% of the votes in the second round of the presidential election, the Rassemblement national is, according to the polls, outpaced by the Nupes and Ensemble! for the legislative elections. However, it could obtain between 20 and 40 deputies, compared with eight elected in 2017, and thus form a parliamentary group for the first time since 1986.