The first round of France’s legislative elections takes place today (June 12), with 48.7 million people eligible to vote for their MP.
Only those with a right to vote in France can take part.
Voting booths opened at 08:00 this morning. They are set to close at 18:00 in smaller towns and 20:00 in large towns and cities.
There are 577 “conscriptions” (constituencies) that are taking part in the vote. MPs voted in will remain in their post for five years.
In French, MPs are called "deputés". This means Member of Parliament (the Assemblée Nationale), not "deputy".
The first results are set to emerge from 20:00 tonight.
To be elected in this first round, candidates must obtain at least 50% of the votes cast, and at least 25% support of the number of people registered to vote.
If none of the candidates satisfy these conditions, the two with the highest number of votes will automatically qualify for the second round. Those with 12.5% of the number of voters will also go through.
Candidates close to the President – LREM, MoDem, Agir, and Horizons – are presenting themselves under the “Ensemble” banner. The left-wing and green parties – LFI, PCF, PS and EELV – are presenting candidates under the “Nupes” label. On the far right are the Rassemblement National and Reconquête.
A total of 56% of candidates are men, and 44% are women, despite the law ostensibly requiring the gender split to be equal. Parties can be charged significant fines for non-respect of the rules.
Participation in legislative elections is not usually high; in 2017, 51.3% of eligible voters abstained, a record high. This year, polls suggested that there will also be a high level of abstention.
Brice Teinturier, director at polling institute Ipsos, told FranceInfo: “We are expecting a turnout that could be between 44 and 48%, so an abstention rate that could be as high as 54%. This really is an election with little involvement.”
The final and second round of the elections will take place next Sunday, June 19.
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