11 questions on the legislative elections this month in France

Find out the election dates, how to see the policies of candidates and the gamble being taken by the prime minister in also standing to be an MP

An art concept reading “Elections Legislatives” for 2022 / French electoral cards
The legislative elections are set to take place on June 12 and 19 in France
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The legislative elections in France will take place on June 12 and 19, with all MPs in the Assemblée Nationale up for reelection. Here is how it works.

1. When are the elections taking place?

  • The first round is Sunday, June 12
  • The second round is Sunday, June 19

In contrast to the presidential elections, where two weeks separate the first and second rounds, for the legislatures, there is only one week between them.

2. Who can vote?

Only people of French nationality can vote. They must be aged 18 or above and be registered on the electoral roll.

3. How many MPs are to be elected?

The entire Assemblée Nationale (parliament) is up for renewal. This comprises 577 MPs for mainland and overseas France.

(NB: In France, the word for a member of parliament is “député”, which in English corresponds to an “MP”, not “deputy”).

4. How many candidates are there?

There are 6,293 candidates registered throughout France for this election. This may sound like a lot, but it is the lowest number seen since 1997, and a full 1,588 fewer candidates than were registered in 2017.

The three political parties presenting the most candidates are:

  • Nupes, a coalition of left-wing parties and ecologists (716)
  • The far-right Rassemblement National (567)
  • Ensemble [a grouping of seven parties including President Macron’s party La République en marche (Renaissance)], (564)

There are an average of 11 candidates per constituency (“circonscription” in French). Just over two-fifths (44%) of the candidates are women - this is despite parties being fined if there is more than a 2% gap between the number of male and female candidates.

Of the 577 constituencies, 91 have a candidate list that consists of less than 25% women. Only 16 constituencies have a list of candidates that is less than 25% male.

Proportion of women in the first round of the legislative elections 2022

Map: Interior Ministry / Ouest-France.fr

Interior Ministry figures show that the far-right Rassemblement National has the largest number of women in the first round, with 280 women, or 49% of its candidates.

Far-right party Reconquête! has 271, for a proportion of 49% of women.

Centre-right party Les Républicains (LR) is the party with the lowest percentage of women in the first round.

Overall, in parliament, the number of female MPs is slowly increasing. In 2019, the proportion was 39.5%, versus 26.9% in 2012 and 18.5% in 2007, according to the Assemblée nationale website.

5. Are any government ministers standing for election as MPs?

Yes. Fifteen ministers of new PM Elisabeth Borne's government have chosen to run, including Ms Borne herself, for Calvados.

Also included are:

  • Gérald Darmanin (Nord)
  • Brigitte Bourguignon (Pas-de-Calais)
  • Olivier Dussopt (Ardèche)
  • Damien Abad (Ain)
  • Amélie de Montchalin (Essonne)
  • Marc Fesneau (Loir-et-Cher)
  • Stanislas Guérini (Paris)
  • Yaël Braun-Pivet (Yvelines)
  • Gabriel Attal (Hauts-de-Seine)
  • Clément Beaune (Paris)
  • Olivier Véran (Isère)
  • Franck Riester (Seine-et-Marne)
  • Olivia Grégoire (Paris)
  • Justine Benin (Guadeloupe).

They are taking a gamble as if a minister is not elected / reelected as an MP in the second round, they are expected to resign from the government. This includes Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne who decided to stand as an MP before being appointed prime minister but who has maintained her candidacy.
If the ministers are voted in as MPs they will hand over the position to a deputy - they cannot hold both posts.

6. How many MPs are standing again?

Of the 557 MP seats seeking election, 441 outgoing MPs are seeking a new mandate from their constituents. These comprise 262 men and 179 women.

Among the 136 MPs who are not seeking reelection, there are a few figures from French politics: former head of La France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon; former president of the Assemblée Nationale, François de Rugy; former communist minister Marie-Georges Buffet; the MP for Béarn, Jean Lassalle; and the oldest member of the Assemblée Nationale, Bernard Brochand.

7. What is the average age of candidates?

The average age is 49. The youngest candidate is Raphaëlle Rosa, 18, LR candidate in the 8th constituency of Moselle.

The oldest candidate is Monique Peltriaux, 92 years old. She is a green candidate in the 3rd constituency of Ardennes.

8. What is the voting system?

MPs are elected by direct universal suffrage, by majority vote in two rounds, and by constituency.

9. Can a candidate be elected in the first round?

Yes but to be elected in the first round, a candidate must obtain more than 50% of the votes cast, and a number of votes equal to at least 25% of the number of registered voters.

The number of votes cast corresponds to the total number of ballots cast in the ballot box, minus any blank or invalid votes.

10. How do candidates qualify for the second round?

Candidates who stand in the second round are the two candidates who came out top in the first round, and who obtained a number of votes at least equal to 12.5% of the number of registered voters.

The candidate who obtains the highest number of votes in the second round will be elected.

11. How can I find out the policies of candidates in my constituency?

Candidates have started to distribute their policy pledges by post, and activists have started to leaflet in constituencies. The Interior Ministry has also launched an online platform where each candidate is invited to post their policy pledges. The site is updated daily.

You can also find out how many female candidates there are standing for election in your constituency.

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