Legislative in France: and in the end it is the center that wins?

“The first round of the legislative elections of June 12 was summed up by this pithy title: ‘Mélenchon wins against Macron'”. A shortcut that hides the real tendencies of the French electorate in the system of a majority vote in two rounds, considers an opinion piece published in El Pais.

In the second round, this Sunday, June 19, “many Melenchonist candidates who came out first in their constituency will not gather sufficient support to be elected”, continues the Spanish newspaper. If the approximately 26% obtained by Nupes was perceived as historic, the figures actually show “a reduction in the electoral space of the left” in favor of the center and an increase in votes for the extreme right, he analyses.

The vote pool of Social Democrat voters

Previously, the centrist parties would draw reserves of votes from the conservatives. They are now also addressing a part of the left which does not recognize itself in the alliance carried by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, notes El Pais.

“Something has changed: Social Democratic voters have denied their political commitment and refused to vote for a left perceived as radical and illegitimate, despite all the efforts of Mélenchon […] to veer towards social democracy and renounce a real program of rupture.”

But this strengthening of the center is accompanied by its counterpart: the increase in votes for the extreme right. In the first round of legislative elections, the various formations of this political tendency gathered approximately 23% of the vote, that is to say nearly one voter in four, an unprecedented result for the French legislative elections.

The extreme right will however have few representatives in the National Assembly, because the electoral system in place favors centrist parties in the second round, according to the mechanics of alliances.

“[Cela] further aggravates the lack of legitimacy of the two-round majority system, the reform of which, sooner or later, will not avoid this moral dilemma: should fair political representation be guaranteed to all political parties, including those who aspire to torpedo the system?”

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