First round of lower house elections in France: Macron’s centrists lead

On Sunday, voting for the first round of the lower house elections were held, in France. French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance surged ahead of the left bloc coalition led by Jean-Luc Melenchon. The centrists had a slight edge over the left. The second round of elections will be held the following weekend.

Generally the party that leads the first round goes on to lead in the second round runoff. There were more than 6,000 candidates for 577 seats in France’s National Assembly. Their ages ranged from 18 to 92.

According to projections, Macron’s centrists could retain their majority in the house but are expected to decrease their seat tally, when compared with the seats they won in the previous elections. Macron’s party and allies reportedly got 25-26 percent of the votes. However, they could win in a larger number of districts that would give the centrist coalition a majority.

Left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon formed a strong coalition with the hard-left, the Socialists and the Green Party to stop the centrists from getting a majority. Projections show that although they have gained popularity, they might not be able to overtake the centrists but could get more than 200 seats. Melenchon has not accepted the preliminary projections and said that his coalition was in the leading position.

The next weekend will be decisive for both France and its political parties as the first round saw low voter turnout for a parliamentary election. Less than half of the total 48.7 million voters cast their ballot in the first round.

Leaders from all the three parties, the centrist alliance, the left bloc coalition and the far right are appealing to their supporters among the French voters to come out and vote for their candidates, in the second round of the election, next weekend.

(Photo Credit Alexandros Michailidis )


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