France: Voting Begins For 2nd Round Of Snap Parliamentary Election

France: Voting Begins For 2nd Round Of Snap Parliamentary Election

Notably, France was not scheduled to hold parliamentary elections until 2027. However, Macron called the snap elections after his party was trounced by the RN in the European Parliament elections held in June.

ANIUpdated: Sunday, July 07, 2024, 03:32 PM IST
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Emmanuel Macron | AFP

Paris: Voting began in France for the second round of the snap parliamentary election called by President Emmanuel President to elect 577 members of the National Assembly, in which 289 seats are required for a party to hold an absolute majority, CNN reported.

About The Polls

In the outgoing parliament, French President Macron's alliance had only 250 seats and he required support from other parties to pass laws.
Polls are being held from 8 am-8 pm (local time) on Sunday, with the full results expected early Monday.

The far-right National Rally (RN), led by 28-year-old Jordan Bardella under the party's doyenne Marine Le Pen, is closer to power than ever before after taking the lead in the first round of voting held last Sunday.

The RN has been given a fresh and acceptable face by Bardella as the party won 33 per cent of the popular vote in the first round. The newly formed left-wing coalition, the New Popular Front (NFP), secured second spot with 28 per cent votes, while Macron's Ensemble alliance came third as it won 21 per cent votes.

Ensemble and the NFP have swung into action amid the possibility of the first far-right government in France since the collaborationist Vichy regime during World War II. After a week of political bargaining, hundreds of candidates stood down in some seats to deny the RN an absolute majority, CNN reported.

Only those who secure a win in over 12.5 per cent of the votes of registered votes in the first round can take part in the second, meaning it is often fought between two candidates. However, this time a record number of seats, over 300 seats witnessed a three-way run-off, in a measure of France's polarization.

Over 200 candidates from Macron's alliance and the NFP agreed to stand down in the second round to try not to split the anti-far-right vote. RN's good performance in the first round implies that it could more than triple the 88 seats it had in the outgoing parliament, CNN reported.

Although it is customary for the French president to appoint a PM from the largest party, Bardella has repeatedly stated that he will refuse to form a minority government. In that case, Macron might have to search for a PM on the hard left or form a technocratic government.

President Emmanuel Macron Calls For Snap Elections

Notably, France was not scheduled to hold parliamentary elections until 2027. However, Macron called the snap elections after his party was trounced by the RN in the European Parliament elections held in June.

Even though the results of the European Parliament elections have no bearing on domestic politics. However, Macron insisted that he could not ignore the message sent to him by voters and wanted to clarify the situation, according to a CNN report.

Some have insisted that with the possibility of the RN winning both the presidency and the parliament in 2027, Macron wanted to expose it to the government beforehand, in the hope that it would lose its appeal once in office. Macron's gamble, however, could backfire if the RN declines to form a minority government.

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