After the presidential elections last month, voters in France will elect a new national parliament three weeks from now, choosing 577 Members of Parliament (MPs) for five years through two rounds of votes in single-member constituencies. If no candidate receives a majority in the first round on 12 June, the two strongest candidates advance for a run-off election held on 19 June.
Current polls suggest that the NUPES electoral alliance centred around Jean-Luc Mélenchon will receive between 27% and 31% of the vote in the first round. NUPES consists of different left-wing, centre-left and environmentalist parties. It includes, amongst others, Mélenchon’s “La France Insoumise”, the Parti socialiste, and the French Greens.
Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble (Renew Europe) electoral alliance is polling between 26% and 27%. If NUPES indeed wins more first-round voters, it may put Macron’s parliamentary majority at additional risk due to bandwagon effects in favour of NUPES. The bandwagon effect is a phenomenon in political science that describes that voters tend to vote more for candidates perceived to have a better chance of winning.
Marine Le Pen’s right-wing “Rassemblement national” (ID Group in the EU Parliament) is polling between 20% and 23%. The UDC alliance, led by the centre-right Les Républicains (EPP Group in the EU Parliament) and the liberal UDI (ALDE Party member), is polling around 10%. Eric Zemmour’s far-right Reconquête (Non-Inscrits in the European Parliament) is polling between 5% and 6%.
These first-round results will, however, not translate into seats. Voting behaviour favours centrist parties in the second round, which gives the incumbent president a significant advantage. The latest ELABE seat projection for the final second round puts Macron’s Ensemble at 290 to 330 seats. Two hundred eighty-nine seats are required for an absolute majority. ELABE puts the left-of-centre alliance NUPES between 160 and 185 seats, and Le Pen’s “Rassemblement national” would get between 35-65 seats. The UDC bloc stands at 25-50 seats.