HomeWorld NewsFrance votes in legislative elections amid the rise of the left |...

France votes in legislative elections amid the rise of the left | Election News

Voting is underway for the first round of legislative elections, with a resurgent left seeking to thwart President Macron’s aims to secure a majority.

French voters cast their ballots in the first round of legislative elections, as President Emmanuel Macron seeks to secure his majority amid a resurgent leftist coalition.

Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) on Sunday, after voters in overseas territories cast their ballots earlier in the weekend. About 48 million citizens have the right to vote.

Elections for the 577 seats in the lower house of the National Assembly are held in two rounds. More than 6,000 candidates, aged 18 to 92, are running to win seats in the National Assembly in the first round of the election. Those who receive the most votes will advance to the deciding second round on June 19.

Following Macron’s re-election in May, his centrist coalition is seeking an outright majority that would allow him to implement his campaign promises, including tax cuts and raising the retirement age from 62 to 65.

The latest opinion polls suggest that Macron and his allies may struggle to win more than half of the parliamentary seats. A government with a large, but not absolute, majority would still be able to govern, but only by negotiating with legislators.

The main opposition force appears to be a newly created coalition of leftists, greens and communists led by far-left figure Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Mélenchon urged voters to give his coalition a majority and thus force Macron to appoint him prime minister, which would cause a situation called “cohabitation”.

The leftists’ platform includes a significant increase in the minimum wage, lowering the retirement age to 60 and freezing energy prices.

Although Mélenchon’s coalition could win more than 200 seats, current projections leave little chance for the left to win a majority. Macron and his allies are expected to win between 260 and 320 seats, according to the latest polls.

The French far right, led by Marine Le Pen, should win at least 15 seats, allowing it to form a parliamentary group and acquire more powers in the assembly.

Legislative elections are traditionally a tough race for far-right candidates, as rivals tend to drop out in the second round to improve another candidate’s chances.

Le Pen’s National Rally hopes to do better than five years ago, when it won eight seats.

Results may also be affected by an expected record high turnout. Pollsters say less than half of France’s 48.7 million voters are expected to vote.

Must Read