The first round of parliamentary elections began in France on Sunday. Around 48.7 million registered voters can cast their vote. Shortly after President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected for a second term, the French choose the 577 members of the National Assembly. The polling stations opened at 8 a.m. in the morning.

For the center politician Macron, it is about securing a parliamentary majority again. Otherwise he would be forced to appoint a government with politicians and a prime minister from other camps. In this case, the prime minister would have a much more important position in the state.

While the liberal Macron felt the competition from the strengthened right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen when he was re-elected president a few weeks ago, this time it is coming from the left. Because the new left-wing alliance of the Left Party, Socialists, Greens and Communists, led by left-wing politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon, can hope for significantly more seats in Parliament. Polls recently saw the left-wing alliance on the upswing.

He was a three-time presidential candidate, and now he calls himself prime ministerial candidate – a position that does not exist in the French political system.

Mélenchon had managed the coup of uniting the fragmented left camp behind him and attacking Macron. As a shrewd speaker and strategist, the left veteran distinguished himself in an election campaign that Macron stayed out of until shortly before the end. Now he has to fear for his absolute parliamentary majority.

Nevertheless, it seems certain that Germany and Europe can continue to count on France as a reliable partner. There will probably be no compromises on the pro-European course and the solidarity with Berlin. In the Ukraine conflict, France will also remain an integral part of the West’s united front against the aggressor Russia.

Because Mélenchon is unlikely to get a majority for his Euro-critical course. It is to be expected that Socialists and Republicans will vote with the Macron camp on Germany and Europe issues instead of blocking.

Voter turnout was at a low point, with polls showing that fewer than every second person wanted to vote. By midday, almost every fifth eligible voter had cast their vote.

At 12 p.m. the turnout was 18.43 percent, according to the Interior Ministry in Paris. That was 0.8 percent less than at the same time five years ago. The last polling stations close at 8 p.m. in the evening. Then extrapolations for the outcome of the election are also expected.