The French vote massively on Sunday in the first round of historic legislative elections, with participation at midday at the highest in 43 years for this election which, in a week, could open the doors of power to the far right.

At 12:00 p.m., participation in mainland France stood at 25.90%, up significantly from 18.43% in the first round of the 2022 legislative elections. “This is the highest level since the 1981 legislative elections” , noted on X Mathieu Gallard, director of studies at the Ipsos polling institute.

At the end of the day, participation should be significantly higher than the 47.51% of 2022 and could approach, or even exceed, the 67.9% of the last legislative elections following a dissolution, in 1997.

Proof of this enthusiasm, more than 2.7 million proxies have been established since June 10, according to the Ministry of the Interior, a number four times higher than that of two years ago.

The outgoing deputies of the centrist Liot group or invested by the New Popular Front (NFP) are in the lead in Guadeloupe and Guyana. In Polynesia, the autonomist candidate Moerani Frébault is elected in the first round. First elected of the 577 new deputies, he will also be the first Marquesan to sit in the National Assembly.

In Martinique, the National Rally (RN) managed to qualify one of its candidates for the second second round, a first in this department. But with less than 10%, he has very little chance of being elected next week.

Anxiety and restlessness

“I would like to regain some serenity because since the European elections, everything has taken on a worrying scale. But we must continue to fight for what we believe,” Roxane Lebrun, 40, told AFP. Bordeaux. In Saint-Etienne, Christophe, a 22-year-old police officer, is worried about a vote which risks “dividing the population even more”.

In the northern districts of Marseille, Nabil Agueni, 40, went to the polls even though he had not gone to the polls in the European elections: “As long as we have the choice, it's better to go and vote,” he says. Theo, 30, a Rennes resident who works in culture, notes that, in his entourage, “many people who don't usually vote are going to vote.”

In Rennes as in Lyon, many stores in the city center protected their windows for fear of excesses after the announcement of the results.

Blitz campaign

Many political figures went to the polls in the morning.

Emmanuel Macron voted in Le Touquet (Pas-de-Calais), allowing himself, as usual, a long walkabout with selfies and hugs. Marine Le Pen voted in Hénin-Beaumont (Pas-de-Calais), Jordan Bardella in Garches (Hauts-de-Seine), the former head of the socialist state François Hollande in Tulle (Corrèze).

Gabriel Attal, who voted in Vanves (Hauts-de-Seine), will make a statement at the headquarters of the presidential Renaissance party after 8 p.m., according to his entourage. The leader of La France insoumise (LFI) Jean-Luc Mélenchon slipped his ballot into the ballot box early this afternoon in Paris.

Polling stations will close at 6:00 p.m., or 8:00 p.m. in large cities, at which time the first results of these elections likely to shake up the political landscape will emerge.

Embodied by the smooth face of Jordan Bardella, 28 years old, the RN is riding high in the polls, which credited it with 34 to 37% of voting intentions, with the unprecedented prospect of obtaining a relative or absolute majority on July 7, the evening of the second round.

In these opinion surveys, to be taken with caution, the Lepéniste party was ahead of the left alliance of the NFP, given between 27.5 and 29%, and the presidential camp, relegated to around 20 to 21% of voting intentions.

If Jordan Bardella were to enter Matignon, it would be the first time since the Second World War that a government from the extreme right would lead France. The president of the RN has however warned that he would only accept the post of Prime Minister if his party holds an absolute majority.

Otherwise, the risk of a blocked Assembly, with no possibility of an alliance between very polarized camps, is real, a scenario which would plunge France into the unknown.

Emmanuel Macron caused an earthquake on June 9, by making the ultra-risky bet of dissolving the National Assembly, after the rout of his camp in the European elections.

Despite its internal differences, the left managed in the following days to resuscitate a coalition agreement. But the disagreements between LFI and its partners, in particular over the contested leadership of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, quickly resurfaced and often parasitized the campaign of this NFP.

Meanwhile, nothing seemed to slow down the RN's momentum in the campaign on purchasing power and against immigration: neither the vagueness over the repeal of Emmanuel Macron's pension reform, nor the controversies over dual nationals, or the sulphurous remarks of certain RN candidates on social networks.

The lessons of the first round could be difficult to draw, as there are so many unknowns. Starting with the number of three-way races on Sunday evening, expected to rise sharply, and the number of withdrawals during the period between the two rounds, while the constitution of a Republican front against the extreme right has continued to crack over the years.

“Greatest clarity”

On the left, environmentalists, socialists and communists have announced that they will withdraw if another candidate is better placed to block the RN.

The pressure is strongest among the Macronists.

Emmanuel Macron promised on Thursday “the greatest clarity” on the attitude to follow, but until now seemed to be leaning towards “neither RN nor LFI”, castigated by the left and criticized even within his own camp.

Leave a reply below

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Contact Business

Captcha Code