Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Investors take fright over Google results

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Rwandan singer amongst terror plot suspects

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Spat over Iran's UN ambassador hampers thawing relations with US

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

  • Algeria heads to the polls: ‘This election has nothing to do with us’

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed during attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

France

French Socialists poised for parliamentary triumph

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-06-11

French President François Hollande’s Socialist Party and its left-wing allies look set to win a majority in the lower house following Sunday's first-round parliamentary poll.

Left-wing parties inched towards a majority in the French lower house in Sunday’s first round of parliamentary elections, putting French President François Hollande on track to push through his anti-austerity, tax-and-spend reforms.

More than a month after Nicolas Sarkozy lost the May 6 presidential election, his conservative UMP party got 27 percent of the vote, two notches below the ruling Socialist Party’s 29 percent, according to final interior ministry results.

French National Assembly Seat Projections

But along with their Green and left-wing allies, the Socialists won around 46 percent, well ahead of the 34 percent for the UMP and its conservative allies.

Voter turnout in Sunday’s elections was 57 percent, a record low for a French parliamentary election.

The second round of the election, to be held on June 17, is expected to hand Hollande and his allies a majority of seats in the 577-seat National Assembly. Left-wing parties are already in the majority in the French Senate.

Speaking on France 2 television, Socialist Party chief Martine Aubry said French voters had “expressed their support for change” and their “wish to amplify” Hollande’s victory.

Even as left-wing parties knuckled down to campaigning Monday for the June 17 runoff, France’s leftward slide seemed inevitable, with pollsters estimating that the Socialists and its allies could win the 289 seats needed to enjoy an absolute majority in the National Assembly.

But analysts have cautioned that it is hard to accurately predict the final tallies in the second round, especially since voters face a three-way runoff in many constituencies.

"The game is not over yet," said UMP party chief Jean-Francois Copé, who escaped a dangerous three-way runoff that would have pitted him against a far right National Front candidate. The UMP boss now faces Green candidate Caroline Pinet in the Meaux department, east of Paris.

Marine Le Pen ousts leftist arch-foe

Sunday’s elections saw a strong showing for the far-right party, the National Front, which won nearly 14 percent of the vote, a significant hike from the 4 percent it won in the 2007 parliamentary elections.

In one of the most interesting races in the first round, National Front chief Marine Le Pen took a commanding lead in the northern city of Hénin-Beaumont, trouncing her arch-foe, firebrand leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Mélenchon bowed out of the race Sunday night after Le Pen won 42 percent of the vote in the primarily working-class city that has long provided popular support for the National Front.

But while Le Pen’s victory was a symbolic win for her party, the 43-year-old daughter of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen faces a tough fight in the runoff against Socialist candidate Philippe Kemel, who is expected to pick up the 21 percent of the vote Melenchon won on Sunday.

After claiming an all-time high in the presidential elections, the National Front had set its sights on sending its members to the National Assembly, where they have not had a representative since 1998.

Under French electoral law, parliamentary candidates must earn the support of at least 12.5 percent of all registered voters to qualify.

The low voter turnout in the first round has only increased the challenges confronting the National Front and the conservative UMP in advancing candidates for the June 17 vote.

Getting out the vote for the runoff

The results of the first round have put Hollande in a strong position for his generous tax-and-spend policies, opposed by German chancellor Angela Merkel, as the French president heads for a flurry of talks this week with eurozone leaders.

Hollande’s new cabinet

Secretary general:

   Pierre-René Lemas

Chief of staff:

   General Benoît Puga

Cabinet director:

   Sylvie Hubac

Political adviser:

   Aquilino Morelle
 

On the presidential campaign trail, Hollande had promised that Socialist Party ministers who were not elected by their constituencies would lose their cabinet posts.

Following Sunday’s first round, most ministers were in comfortable positions, although the Socialists have been careful to focus their message on getting out the vote for the second round.

Hollande's Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, re-elected in the first round voting in the Loire-Atlantique region, hailed Sunday’s results and urged voters to return to the polls in numbers for the second round to hand a "large, solid and coherent majority" for the Socialist party and its allies.

"Change is going to be around for a while," he said, echoing the Socialists' presidential election slogan.
 

Date created : 2012-06-11

  • FRENCH ELECTIONS 2012

    Far-left leader concedes defeat in battle with Le Pen

    Read more

  • FRENCH ELECTIONS 2012

    France votes in first round of legislative elections

    Read more

  • FRENCH ELECTIONS 2012

    Socialists confront left-wing tensions ahead of key vote

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)