In France, the second round of the parliamentary elections is entering the home straight. The last polling stations, mostly in large cities, were open until 8 p.m. on Sunday. Then the projections for the outcome of the election were expected.
Around 48.9 million registered voters were able to cast their vote. Shortly after President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected for a second term on April 24, the French voted for the 577 members of the National Assembly.
For the center politician Macron, it is about securing a parliamentary majority in his second term. After the first round of elections last weekend, it did not seem certain that the presidential camp would be able to maintain its absolute majority in parliament. 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.
The new alliance of Left Party, Socialists, Greens and Communists, led by Macron’s opponent Jean-Luc Mélenchon, can hope for significantly more seats in Parliament than before. The 70-year-old old left had previously managed to unite the fragmented left camp behind him.
Should the president’s center camp achieve only a relative majority, the president and government would be forced to seek support from the other camps. This would make it more difficult for Macron to implement his plans without major cuts.
While political events in France are heavily concentrated in the capital Paris, the top politicians traditionally cast their votes in their home regions on Sunday. Macron, accompanied by his wife Brigitte, voted in the northern French seaside resort of Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, Mélenchon cast his vote in Marseille, while the right-wing national Marine Le Pen voted in Hénin-Beaumont in northern France.
Important projects are waiting to be implemented in France: improvements in the education and healthcare systems are being called for, many people are hoping for support from the government in view of the rising prices and many want more energetic steps in the climate crisis. In addition, Macron wants to push through a controversial pension reform, the French should work longer.
Regardless of how plentiful or narrow the majority is for the presidential camp: France under Macron should remain a reliable partner for Germany and Europe. In the conflict with Moscow over the war of aggression against Ukraine, the country is also likely to remain an integral part of the West’s closed front against Russia.