Leftist candidates have won the first round of France’s parliamentary elections to the 577 seat National Assembly (the lower house of the Parliament). This will reshape France’s legislative policy.
After the first round, Socialists secured 22 seats, while the previous leaders, the Union for a Popular Movement, ended up with only 7. Some 35% voters chose Socialists which have a chance to get up to 350 seats in a coalition with the Greens. The absolute majority is 289 seats which means no need for Socialists to bloc with the Left Front with whom is has some crucial controversies.
Yuri Rubinsky, the head of the French Studies Department of the Institute for European Studies, comments on the election results.
"The first tour brought no surprise, its results were predicted by the polls. The turnout was very low even lower than the one in the presidential elections. This has changed the balance of power. Socialists led by the new President Francois Hollande and their allies gained the majority and, obviously, will dominate the Parliament."
Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault have made a deal to expel those ministers who will not make it in the election.
25 ministers of 34 are running. Prime Minister himself secured victory in his district already in the first round. Another five ministers, including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, also made it in their districts. However, they will not be working in the Parliament sending their deputies instead.
Yuri Rubinsky explains how the results will affect Russian-French relations.
"I don’t think the election results will change bilateral relations, especially in economy. As for policy, Russia and France fail to agree on Syria and Iranian nukes, namely on methods to solve these conflicts. I hope that the next government will be looking for a compromise in the first place."
The ex-ruling Union for a Popular Movement will loose its majority for the first time since 2002 and, thus, will become oppositional. The party, as well as its allies, are expected to loose up to 100 seats having only 270 MPs compared to 315 representatives in the previous Parliament.
However, the party’s leaders claim that they plan no collation with Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front.
This time, the National Front which has been out of the Parliament for the last 15 years, did worse than expected. The party hoped to win in 150 districts but led only in 75 gaining three seats maximum. One of them will go to the party’s leader and ex-presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.