Why are France’s parliamentary elections important to Macron?

Emmanuel Macron saw Marine Le Pen’s far right in April’s presidential election, but now the French president faces threats from the other end of the political spectrum in a battle for parliamentary power.

Elections are being held across the country to elect 577 members of the National Assembly, the most powerful branch of France’s parliament, to vote on Sunday, June 19.

The far-left Jean-Luc Mélénchon, head of a coalition made up of leftists, greens and communists under the name Nupes, is trying to win elections and prevent Macron’s party from retaining its current parliamentary majority.

Former Trotskyist Mlenchen wants to significantly increase the minimum wage and lower the retirement age to 60. He too wants to be prime minister if his coalition gains control. That scenario would have the power to derail Macron’s domestic agenda.

Here’s a closer look:

What does Macron have to lose?

very. If Macron’s coalition, Ensemble!, takes control, the president will be able to carry out his agenda as before. But observers believe that Macron’s party and allies may have trouble securing an absolute majority this time with the magic figure of 289 seats.

A government with a large, but absolute majority would still be able to govern, but only by bargaining with lawmakers.

Although Mlenchon’s coalition could have won more than 200 seats, current estimates show the Left has little chance of securing a majority. According to the latest polls, Macron and his allies are expected to win between 260 and 320 seats.

Whatever the outcome of this survey, Macron will have substantial powers on foreign policy. But the poor performance for his alliance could be a thorn in his side for his second five-year term. This could prove disastrous for the president’s agenda, which includes tax cuts, welfare reform and raising the retirement age.

If Macron loses control, he will be president primarily in charge of foreign affairs, defense and Europe. But the government will decide on major economic and domestic issues. And if it has a coalition of Mlenchons it would be very hostile to their agenda, said Olivier Rosenberg, associate professor in legislative studies at the University of Science Poe.


The last time France had a presidential and parliamentary majority from various parties was two decades ago, when conservative President Jacques Chirac found himself working with a socialist prime minister, Lionel Jospin. This frightening power-sharing scenario is called cohabitation. To avoid this and try to prevent a deadlock, the constitution was changed in 2000 to reduce the president’s term from seven to five years and move parliamentary elections to the same five-year cycle.

But this year’s vote is closer than in years. If Nupes takes control, Macron will be forced to name a prime minister from that coalition.

Prime Minister (Elizabeth) Bourne would be forced to step down, all ministers would change, and would be elected by the Prime Minister. Rosenberg said, possibly a prime minister, Mlenchon. Not even a difficult word.

Melanchone: Colored Radical

Coming in a strong third in the April presidential election, the business leader of the French Unbod party pressed on to capitalize on this popularity.

He has a revolutionary vision for France and a dramatic way of presenting it. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire compared him to the late Venezuelan President, branding Galic Chavez.

Mlenchon recently softened his tone to attract more traditional left-wing voters, and took a strongly pro-environmental stance, which earned him the support of young people.

Mlenchon wanted the Fifth Republic, established by Charles de Gaulle in 1958, to be abolished in favor of the Sixth Republic with the aim of making it more democratic and parliamentary-based rather than the current presidential system. He wants to reduce the retirement age to 60, reinstate wealth tax and increase the minimum wage by 15%.

how it works

The French system is complex and not proportionate to nationwide support for any party. District MLAs are elected.

A parliamentary candidate needs more than 50% of the number of days’ votes to be elected outright on 12 June.

Failure to do so, the top two contenders, with anyone winning over 12.5% ​​of the registered vote, proceed to the second round. In some cases, three or four people make it through, although some may step aside to improve the other contender’s chances.

That tactic has often been used to block candidates from Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally Party.

The Le Pen party, which won eight seats in 2017, expects to win at least 15 this time, allowing it to form a parliamentary group and gain more powers in the assembly.

The National Assembly, the lower house, is the more powerful of the two houses of the Parliament of France. It has the final authority in the law-making process over the Senate.

issues at stake

Inflation is a major issue among voters, as energy and food prices rise. Macron hopes his initiatives to boost growth and food production will do well among voters. However, Mlenchons plans to raise the minimum wage to 1,400 euros per month, which will certainly be favored among blue-collar voters.

Recent police violence has also become a political hot potato after a deadly police shooting in Paris. It came a week after police chiefs were condemned for using tear gas on football fans in the Champions League final in the French capital. The Left has taken advantage of events to criticize Macron over brutal policing methods. Still, observers say Macron does well in the eyes of voters on security issues, as he has historically tread a harder line than the left.

Macros are more reliable in terms of security. Rosenberg said the majority of the population looks to him to take the lead on the issue. It can play in his hand.

Another factor that could benefit Macron is the prediction of a higher rate of abstinence.

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