Top 9 information to understand the legislative elections

The legislative elections are fast approaching! Even if the French speak little about it, the media do not make a big deal out of it, and we had even forgotten their existence: the legislative elections are decisive for the life of the country! I assure you. As important as the presidential elections! You do not believe me ? Very well. I will prove it to you!

1. What are legislative elections for?

They make it possible to elect the deputies who will sit in the National Assembly. In all, there are 577 elected, namely: one per constituency.

2. The functioning of constituencies

577: this is also the number of legislative constituencies in France (539 in mainland France, 19 in the overseas departments and regions, 8 in the overseas communities and 11 for French people living abroad) . In accordance with the law of February 23, 2010, the legislative division is distributed according to population: there is one MP for every 125,000 inhabitants. In fact, several small municipalities in the same department may belong to the same constituency. Conversely, the same city can be divided into several constituencies. For example, in Paris, there are 18.

3. The role of MPs is essential!

We often think that once the President of the Republic is elected, “the mass is said”! It’s wrong. The presidential election represents only 50% of the job, the rest: it is the deputies of the National Assembly. Eh yes ! First, they have a role of control over the actions of the government. In particular, they can question the ministers, or ask for the opening of a commission of inquiry to deepen a file. Then, it is also and above all they who will vote or reject the laws of the next five-year term. Between June 2017 and the end of February 2022, the 15th legislature voted… 354 laws. It’s nothing. Finally, if the deputies disapprove of the policy of the government in place, they can table “a motion of censure”. If it is signed by at least one tenth of the members (58 deputies), it is submitted to the vote of the Assembly. It is adopted only if it wins by an absolute majority. In this case, the Prime Minister must submit the resignation of his government, as the Pompidou government was forced to do in 1962.

4. …and even stronger when living together

Since the deputies pass the laws, the President of the Republic has every interest in ensuring that a presidential majority sits in the hemicycle. Otherwise, the president is obliged to appoint a new prime minister, from the parliamentary majority. We then speak of “cohabitation” since a President and a Prime Minister from different political backgrounds cohabit. In this situation, the president loses his power over the country’s internal decisions: according to the Constitution, it is the government that decides the country’s policy and the Assembly that votes the laws. The president must therefore share his prerogatives with his prime minister. The Fifth Republic was confronted with this situation three times: twice under François Mitterrand (socialist) with Jacques Chirac (Rassemblement pour la République) as Prime Minister from 1986 to 1988, then Edouard Balladur (RPR) from 1993 to 1995. In 1997 , Lionel Jospin (PS) is Chirac’s Prime Minister.

5. To achieve cohabitation, some go through a coalition

If you have turned on the radio, opened a newspaper or simply consulted a news web page in recent weeks, you have necessarily already come across this acronym: la Nupes. Translate: New Popular Ecological and Social Union (KAMOULOX). This is the alliance (coalition) of several left-wing parties for the legislative elections. We find in particular La France Insoumise, the main actor of this bloc, the party of Europe Ecology-The Greens, and the French Communist Party. The PS had also chosen to join, but the process has just been invalidated by the courts. Joining forces is, in a way, gathering forces to gather votes! In this way, JL Mélenchon hopes that the left will win the majority of the Assembly. If you followed correctly, this would lead to Emmanuel Macron appointing a new prime minister representing this party, and therefore… to cohabitation!

According to the judgment, the leadership of the PS should have organized a national convention, which includes the militants. And not be satisfied with a vote of the national council.

Posted by The world on Wednesday, June 8, 2022

6. Voting method

The deputies are elected by direct universal suffrage: by all French adults registered on the electoral lists (as of March 9, 2022: 95% of French people of voting age were registered on the electoral lists. That is 48.7 million French people) . As for the presidential election, the voting method is uninominal (one person is elected and not a list). If one of the candidates obtains an absolute majority in the first round, and at least 25% of the votes of registered voters, then he is directly elected. Basically, if 124,000 people are registered, and only 60,000 will vote: even if a candidate receives 30,500 votes (absolute majority), he will go to the second round, since he does not reach the 25% of votes of the registered ( 124,000 / 4 = 31,000). You understand ?

It’s quite technical, but it proves that abstention can have big consequences on a vote! In all other cases, the election takes place over two rounds. To access it, it is simply necessary to have obtained the votes of at least 12.5% ​​of the voters. If only one or no candidate reaches the threshold, then the two with the highest score pass. Conversely, if more than two candidates obtain the score, then the second round will be disputed between three (triangular) or even four (quadrangular).

7. Anyone (or almost) can show up

To be candidates for the legislative elections, three conditions: to be French, to be of legal age and not to have received a sentence of ineligibility (cc Fillon). Among the non-qualified: persons placed under guardianship or certain senior civil servants (prefects, magistrates, rectors) who cannot run for a deputy in the department where they exercised their functions, for three years. Those who have another local function (mayor, (vice-)president of region, department or intermunicipal authority) may be candidates, but will have to choose a single mandate: either deputy or the rest, but not both at the same time. .

Note that a deputy does not necessarily have to be from or live in the constituency in which he is running! They are invested with a national mandate even if their election is done at the local level. On the other hand, no one can be a candidate in several constituencies at the same time.

It is one of the most accessible elections, since it is open to all French people over the age of 18. Manual ?

Posted by The echoes on Friday, May 13, 2022

8. Why are we talking about parliamentary groups?

When we hear about the National Assembly, the information is very regularly associated with “parliamentary groups”. Very well, but what is the relationship with the deputies? Complicated all these words of intelligent people, there! To put it simply: each elected deputy joins a political group of his choice within the Assembly. When 15 deputies have come together: they form what is called a “parliamentary group”. Quite simply. Generally, the members of a parliamentary group all have the same political color (or a very close one). However, and as is always the case when forming teams: there are always a few members of each group, brought together by force of circumstance, to form one or more more eclectic groups.

The first challenge for these groups: the political aspect. Getting together helps to organize and have more weight in the debates and on the functioning of the assembly. In particular, the groups have more speaking time for questions to the government, can request a suspension of the session or the vote in public ballot, for example. Second goal: the financial aspect. The Assembly allocates an envelope to the groups to cover their expenses.

9. Little reminder of the dates (it’s important)

As for the French abroad, the first round is already done! Last weekend (June 4-5, 2022), expats went to the polls. Results: in nine out of eleven constituencies, the second round will see the presidential majority and the Nupes clash. A thought moved for this dear Manuel Valls, only candidate of the presidential majority not to cross the course of the first round… Manu… When the branch is rotten, it is necessary to stop clinging to it. Really. The second round abroad will be June 18-19, 2022.

For the rest of France, the first round is this Sunday and the second round, June 19!

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