Written by 17:25 World

France’s Snap Election: Here Is What’s at Stake

President Emmanuel Macron’s risky decision to call snap legislative elections in France has backfired badly, enabling the far right to dominate the first round of voting held on Sunday.

But the French will return to the polls next Sunday for a second round of voting to choose their representatives in the 577-seat National Assembly, the country’s lower and more prominent house of Parliament.

France is in unpredictable territory, with the future of Mr. Macron’s second term at stake. The nationalist, anti-immigrant National Rally, led by Jordan Bardella, has never been closer to potentially governing the country.

Here is what you need to know about the elections.

When Mr. Macron was elected to a second term in 2022, his party failed to win an outright majority. The centrist coalition he formed has since governed with a slim majority, but it has struggled to pass certain bills.

Then, last month, the National Rally surged to first place in elections for the European Parliament, while the centrist coalition led by Mr. Macron’s Renaissance party came in a distant second.

After those results, which left Mr. Macron a reduced figure with three years left in his term, the president dissolved Parliament. He was under no obligation to do so, but he believed that a dissolution had become inevitable — opposition lawmakers were threatening to topple his government in the fall. He said he felt that a snap election was the only way to respect the will of the people.


Last modified: 3 July 2024