Low Voter Turnout in French Election

French President Macron

The political wave in France towards politically transforming the nation took another turn for the better last Sunday when Emanuel Macron’s party took the driving seat. This is despite that the party is new being less than one-year-old meaning that it’s still untested. The New York Times reported that the French people had resoundingly embraced the La Republique en Marche. The win by the La Republique meant that traditional parties continued to be on the receiving end of humiliation. The Times reported on 97 percent of 577 constituencies saying that La Republique would receive more than a quarter of the constituencies from the first round of voting. The second round of voting will take place on Sunday. Among the parties humbled by a 14-month-old party include the Republican Party and the Socialist Party. Macro is known for his pro-business agenda, and he is likely to implement the plan with the majority in the National Assembly.

This win was met with mixed emotions with the Prime Minister Mr. Edouard Phillipe tweeting that ‘France is back.' However, the prime minister urged more French people to turn out in the next round. Only 49 percent of the eligible population turned out for the first round. He said that the French people had sent the message that they want a New France. However, the party was only able to acquire three seats from the first round as only the three reached the 50 percent threshold. Inability to reach the 50 percent mark is attributed to the large numbers of candidates in each constituency and the low voter turnout. Leading candidates who surpass the 12.5 percent mark get a chance to fight in the second round. Emanuel Macron will require 289 seats to guarantee a majority in parliament. If he doesn't get this number, he will be forced to form an alliance with the centrist Democratic Movement. Experts say that from the first round of voting, it’s likely he will get the number that he is looking for.

Other parties also expressed their concern on the low turnout. This is the first time that the turnout has fallen below the 50 percent mark since 1958. Opposing parties said that despite the defeat, they would oppose Macron’s idea of raising taxes on the French people. The last two elections recorded a voter turnout of 57 percent and 61 percent. French people usually vote for the president’s party.

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