On Sunday 12 June, the first round of legislative elections to renew the National Assembly, the chamber that bestows confidence in the government, will take place in France. The second round will be on June 19. For the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, who recently won his second term, this will be a key moment: if he obtains an absolute majority (289 seats) he will be able to avoid the so-called “coexistence”, that is, the situation in which the parliamentary majority and the president belong to two different camps.
Only the coalition of the Left, the Greens, the Communists and the Socialists in the NUPES coalition led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon seems to be the only one capable of depriving Macron of an absolute majority in Parliament: a squad! The coalition, which says President Emmanuel Macron, seems very concerned about this hypothesis. After long weeks of idling, in a “non-election campaign”, as the French newspapers wrote, the president and his supporters took action by launching very aggressive attacks against the NUPES leader, yielding to the logic, Writes ReleaseDo not honor the Elysee.
In the last four elections (2002, 2007, 2012, 2017) the result of the legislative elections was “confirmative”: the results followed the result of the previous month’s presidential election, giving the elected president and his party a majority of seats also in Parliament. This time, senior observers say, things are particularly uncertain because of that Macron’s presidential victory was without a victory and why The left seems united.
In France, the President of the Republic has many powers, and debates in the presidential elections, in which candidates present very specific and specific programmes, can confirm this impression. But to take full advantage of these powers, and implement all the promises made during the election campaign of the President of the Republic You need a majority in the National AssemblyParliament.
In the past, it happened several times that the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister belonged to different parties (the so-called “coexistence”). The most recent was between 1997 and 2002, when President Jacques Chirac, the center-right leader, and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, were the head of the Socialist Party. In this case, the powers of the President of the Republic will be very limited and will not allow him to carry out his program, to the point, according to some experts, of making France a de facto parliamentary republic.
Plus Ensemble! , Macron’s alliance, and NUPES, the third major political party is the far-right party, made up of the two parties, Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, who remain separate: these three political families account for more than 80 percent of voting intentions.
Polls give a squad! Certainly in the lead, but at the risk of not reaching the absolute majority of seats which is 289. Squad! It should actually get between 280 and 300 deputies, while the NUPES is between 160 and 200: if the NUPES gets enough success, it risks burning the majority of Macron.
Macron vs Melenchon
Macron wanted to make his official re-election to the presidential election “non-event”. He announced this in a letter published in the newspapers at the beginning of last March, in which he immediately made it clear that he could not campaign as he would have liked “because of the context”, that is, because of the Russian invasion. Ukraine. It was such that the French newspapers spoke of a “ghost campaign”.
After his victory, given the legislative elections, Macron chose for several weeks to repeat the same strategy and conduct what has been defined as a “non-election campaign”, but he also received some criticism from within, because he left the party. The field is open. To the left, who started campaigning too early for the legislative elections. Melenchon, who was excluded from the presidential ballot but placed third with nearly 22 percent of the vote, received I started His own campaign already between the first and second rounds of the presidential elections, he asks the French to “elect” him as prime minister and vote in the legislative elections for the left-wing coalition he then actually managed to build and which became a leader.
– Read also: How much did Macron really win?
Only now, when the united left has grown rapidly in the polls to the point of jeopardizing Macron’s majority in parliament, does the president and politicians close to him appear to have taken action. In recent days, the strategy of silence has been replaced by a very aggressive and, according to some French newspapers, even excessive strategy towards Mélenchon.
Macron and his men have not only criticized NUPES, or perhaps point to the disagreements between the parties that are part of it, but have indulged in a method that some journalists have compared to that of the far-right: the truth of the caricature, hideous and sometimes false attacks against Mélenchon. So the time between the two rounds of presidential elections seems very far away, when Macron was looking for the support of voters, left-wing electricians and environmentalists and spoke of “environmental design” as well as “a common future,” addressing directly the phrases used by Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
Today, Macron addresses the French with great focus, saying that the context is dangerously uncertain and that if he does not obtain a parliamentary majority, France will fall into “big turmoil”. And again: “Nothing is more dangerous than adding French anarchy to global anarchy.” Politicians, deputies, and members of Macron’s party, in turn, have identified Mélenchon in newspapers, on television, or at rallies as “Galek Chávez,” a reference to the former socialist and populist president of Venezuela.
They say that the victory of the NUPES will lead France to “economic ruin”, that any coexistence “will call into question the entire political class and the performance of its democratic life” and that the country will be ruled by an authoritarian “Soviet model”. Macron supporters have also accused Melenchon of being anti-European, of being too close to Russia, and of having an economic policy that is too burdensome for taxpayers.
One notable criticism is that if NUPES wins, Macron’s supporters say it will not be possible to “cut the timber on our property”. The reference is a point in the NUPES program where it is proposed to organize a technique “Coupe race” Which means “clean cut”, consists of felling trees with heavy machinery and has severe consequences for ecosystems. The proposal to regulate this technology was presented by La France Insoumise in 2020 and was approved among other things in a parliamentary report written by a deputy from Macron’s party.
Many claims about Mélenchon have been disassembled From some French newspapers. The NUPES leader replied that “the intelligence of the people must be respected”: that these attacks would strengthen the positions of those who had not already voted for him, but were too rude to impress voters and other electricians.
Polling and polling system
The 577 members of the National Assembly are elected in single-member constituencies in a dual round. Eleven provinces are located outside the national territory, that is, abroad. Only one candidate can win each college and can win in the first round if he or she receives 50 percent plus one of the votes cast by at least 25 percent of registered voters and electricians. Unlike presidential elections, the abstention rate in this case is therefore decisive.
The second round will take place in all those constituencies that did not elect a candidate in the first round. In the second round, there can also be cases of “triples” (three eligible candidates) or “quadruples”: in fact, not the two candidates with the best two results in the first round, but all those who in the first round got at least For 12.5 per cent of the votes registered in the electoral lists (not the voters). In the second round, whoever gets the most votes is elected.
The higher the abstention, the higher the threshold to be overcome. In 2012, with 42 percent abstaining, there were 34 triangles. In 2017, with 51.3% abstentions, there was only one triangle in the second round. The French newspapers, based on opinion polls, had estimated that the next legislature The percentage of abstentions can range from 52 to 56 percent, therefore, There may not be any triangles.
The number of candidates who will attend is lower than in 2017 when there were 7,882 candidates with an average of fourteen per district. This year, 6,293 people will apply, or roughly eleven per district. The main reason for this retreat is due to the agreement reached within the NUPES between the four main parties on the left, which made it possible to avoid the dispersal of the candidates.
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