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POLITICS

Five maps to understand the French parliamentary election

From political deadlock to far-right gains, here are the essential maps you need to understand what happened in France's 2022 parliamentary elections.

Five maps to understand the French parliamentary election
French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) leader Marine Le Pen poses while campaigning (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP)

Almost two months after Emmanuel Macron won his re-election campaign – the first French president to do so in France in almost twenty years – the French people have voted not to give him an absolute majority in parliament.

Instead, opposition groups like La Nupes (the leftist coalition) and Rassemblement National (the far-right party led by Marine Le Pen) consolidated large blocs in parliament, enough to make the next five years very complicated for Emmanuel Macron.

Here are the maps you need to visualise what happened in France’s parliamentary elections.

The big picture

This map shows an overall picture of which parties won which districts across France.

The president’s centrist coalition, Ensemble (in yellow), has a lot of the country’s west coast of the country to thank for its victories, with regions like Brittany, Pays de la Loire, and Nouvelle Aquitaine providing support for the president’s party. 

Elsewhere the picture is more fragmented with leftist alliance Nupes (in red), far-right Rassemblement National (dark blue) and centre-right Les Républicains (light blue) all picking up seats around the country, although the far right did well all along the Mediterranean coast. 

Macron misery

Nevertheless, the picture for the sitting president is considerably less cheery than it was in 2017.

Though the president’s centrist coalition will still be the largest group in parliament, it has lost 105 deputés (MPs) in the last five years.

A significant portion left the party or resigned from their positions in the early days of Macron’s first term, while a large chunk lost their seats to candidates from the Rassemblement Nationale and Nupes in Sunday’s election.

Health minister Brigitte Bourguignon, maritime minister Justine Benin and environment minister Amélie de Montchalin were among the victims in Sunday, as well as party faithful and current president of the National Assembly Richard Ferrand and former interior minister Christophe Castaner. Ex education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer had been knocked out in the first round.

Left alliance

Four leftist parties – the hard left La France Insoumise (LFI), the centre left Parti Socialiste (PS), the Greens (EELV) and the Communists  (PCF) – came together in this election to form a coalition known as La Nupes (Nouvelle Union populaire, écologique et sociale) and together they won 133 seats, making it the second largest group in the parliament.

In the previous government, the four parties of the left only occupied 60 seats between them, so this represents a significant gain when compared to 2017.

But this doesn’t represent a particular shift to the left – the percentage of people voting for La Nupes in the first round in 2022 was 25.78 percent – only a fraction higher (25.38 percent) than the combined result of the four parties of La Nupes in 2017. However, by forming the pre-election pact the leftist parties agreed not to stand candidates against each other, and therefore turned their vote share into a larger number of seats in parliament. 

This map shows which factions within the leftist coalition won parliamentary seats, and where they were successful. It remains to be seen how well the coalition will be maintained in the coming months, as the parties hold differing perspectives on key issues.

The rise of the far-right

Shocking pollsters and election experts alike, France’s far-right party, Le Rassemblement Nationale (RN), won 89 seats in parliament.

Previously, the party only won eight in 2017. It represents a historic record for the far-right in France, and an encroaching change for France’s traditional political geography, where the south of the country once represented a stronghold for the left.

The RN is now the largest single-party opposition bloc in France’s parliament.

The real winner: abstention

Over half of French people – about 54.77 percent – did not participate in the second round of the parliamentary elections.

Early analysis shows that age and household income played a role in who voted and who did not: only 29 percent of 18-24 year olds and 36 percent of people living in a household with a total income of less than €1,200 per month went to the polls. 

And finally . . . Zemmour

The below map shows the total number of seats gained by extreme right TV pundit-turned politician Eric Zemmour – a big, fat zero.

Zemmour’s Reconquête and his party did not gain a single seat and all its candidates – including Zemmour himself – were knocked out in the first round.

His total vote share was just four percent, falling from seven percent in the presidential elections in April.

Member comments

  1. Plurialism (le pluralisme) is absolutely essential for a prosperous, thriving democracy.

    Pluralism propels the principle that diversity is beneficial to society and that political power should be enjoyed by disparate functional or cultural groups within a society, including religious groups, trade unions, professional organizations, and ethnic minorities.

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POLITICS

France is a friend, UK PM Liz Truss admits after ‘jury’s out’ campaign claim

Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss has moved to mend fences with France, weeks after saying that the "jury's out" on whether President Emmanuel Macron was a "friend or foe" to Britain.

France is a friend, UK PM Liz Truss admits after 'jury's out' campaign claim

Truss met Macron for a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the president’s European Political Community meeting in Prague, aimed at bringing the continent together in the face of Russian aggression.

The two leaders afterwards pledged “ambitious” measures to tackle illegal migration against a background of record numbers of people making the dangerous journey across the Channel by boat from northern France.

Truss had given her “jury’s out” answer during her campaign to succeed Boris Johnson as Conservative party leader, delighting the Eurosceptic Tory faithful.

But it raised eyebrows as she was foreign minister at the time and supposedly in charge of diplomatic relations with Britain’s neighbour.

She told UK broadcasters before Thursday’s meeting she had worked “very, very closely” with the president and the French government in Paris.

“We’re both very clear the foe is (Russian President) Vladimir Putin, who has through his appalling war in Ukraine threatened freedom and democracy in Europe and pushed up energy prices which we’re now all having to deal with,” she added.

Asked directly if she considered him a friend, Truss replied: “He is a friend.”

In a statement after Thursday’s meeting, the two leaders promised to come up with solutions to deal with migrant crossings and to hold the next UK-France Summit in 2023.

They agreed “to deepen cooperation on illegal migration within the bounds of international law, to tackle criminal groups trafficking people across Europe, ending in dangerous journeys across the Channel.

“Interior Ministers should conclude an ambitious package of measures this autumn,” it added.

Macron often had prickly relations with Truss’s predecessor Boris Johnson, who spearheaded the successful campaign to take Britain out of the European Union.

But Johnson, who joked in Franglais that Macron was “un très bon buddy” (a very good friend), called Anglo-French relations “of huge importance”.

The two nations are close NATO allies and UN Security Council members.

Macron at the time played down Truss’s remarks, saying he would not hesitate for a “second” in affirming Britain as an ally.

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