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National Front resilience haunts probable Left victory in French elections

By Sanchia Alasia
June 14th 2012



The Socialist tide is still riding high as the results from the first round of voting in the French legislative elections that took place on the 10 June, show that Francois Hollande is one step closer to cementing his position and implementing the policies pledged.

The Socialist, Green and left wing are on course towin a majority in the lower house of parliament for the first time in a decade, in the final round of elections that take place on 17 June, taking up 46 per cent of the vote in the first round.

The French public are clearly supporting Hollande’s anti-austerity measures and want to be sure he has the opportunity to enact them. The Socialists could even win a majority in the house without their left allies.

However, progressives will be concerned to Marine Le Pen’s Fronte National receiving 14 per cent of the vote, up from 4 per cent in the elections in 2007.

The left wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon announced his challenge to Le Pen some weeks ago for the seat in Hénin-Beaumont, but has now admitted defeat in the face of Le Pen gaining almost half of the votes there, with Le Pen stating that this initial result:


“Had confirmed our position as France’s third political force”.

However, the race for this coveted seat is not over yet with the Socialist candidate Philippe Kemel still in the race for Sundays run off. In total in these elections, 6,000 candidates in this election vied to represent 577 seats for five-year terms.

Eleven MPs will represent citizens abroad. After a first round took place on Sunday, a second round of voting will take place in those constituencies that require it next Sunday. A candidate who gains over 50% of the vote in the first round, is elected without the need to enter the second round (as Hollande’s Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was).

If no candidate gains 50 per cent of the vote, candidates with 12.5% of the vote or more go forward to the second round. Turnout in the first round of voting was one of the lowest France has seen at 57 per cent and for the Socialist party and their allies to secure victory they need to get out the vote for the second round.

Originally published by Left Foot Forward


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