Sunday, January 29

French Parliamentary Elections Were Eclipsed By Low Turnout.

On the evening of Macron’s re-election, his party’s centrist alliance, Ensemble, has an increased risk of losing its majority in parliament of just weeks. Polling suggested German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right alliance Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Free Democratic Party (FDP) with the leftist coalition New Ecological and Social People’s Union (NUPES) neck and neck.

According to results announced Sunday evening, Ensemble has won 25.37 percent (5.1 million votes), while the pan-left NUPES led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon have gained 24.31 percent (4.9 million votes). A second round of voting is scheduled for June 19. If after that Ensemble falls short of the 289 threshold for an absolute majority—which major pollsters are projecting as a possibility—Macron will become the first reigning French president to not win a parliamentary majority since the 2000 electoral reform.

Historical records show that after winning the first round, the presidential party is wounded and ousted.

The first round of voting in the parliamentary elections held on Sunday was shadowed by low voter enthusiasm, with voter turnout projected at 47 percent according to Interior Ministry data–the lowest for the first round of parliamentary elections since 1958, when the current French Fifth Republic was established. Partial results from the Interior Ministry also indicated that National Rally and established right-wing party The Republicans and its allies lagging behind with 19.9 percent and 10.58 percent respectively. Meanwhile, Éric Zemmour — whose new far-right party Reconquest! had gathered less than 5% percent of the vote in early results — has not qualified for the next round of voting for the parliamentary seat he had targeted. Just like the presidential election, parliamentary elections in France function on a two-round system: if no one wins more than half of the vote in the first round then all candidates who received at least 12.5 percent of registered voters qualify for a second round.

lys e announced on May 10 that in ousted Cabinet ministers whose elections have been upended, the termination commission will inform them that they will have to resign from their positions and join the unemployed. Among the 15 minister-level officials standing for election, multiple are at risk of defeat, including Minister Delegate for Europe Cl ment Beaune, who was active in organizing France’s response to the Ukraine crisis.

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