“Wordy system” according to Marine Le Pen, call for change on the left: the oppositions are happy to type on the mode of election of deputies which should favor the presidential majority for lack of introduction of proportional representation under the previous five-year term.
PERVERSE EFFECTS AND LIMITS
Legislative elections are national but are played in 577 constituencies. Each deputy is thus elected there by the uninominal majority ballot in two rounds, used since 1958. The only exception: the legislative elections of 1986, when François Mitterrand had chosen full proportional representation to limit the announced victory of the right, even if it meant bringing in 35 FN deputies in the Assembly.
If in a constituency on Sunday none of the candidates exceeds 50% of the vote in the first round, the two who come out on top will automatically qualify for the second round on June 19. And those who exceed 12.5% of registered voters – even in third or fourth position – will be able to maintain themselves. But the latter case will be rare, given the announced levels of abstention, above 50%.
In the second round, the one who has won the most votes will be elected. This voting method “reproduces the logic of the presidential election and amplifies its result”, allowing the Head of State to have free rein to carry out his reforms, underline the jurist Benjamin Morel, and Chloé Ridel, of the Voting Better association, in a recent forum at La Croix. But he “participates for a lot in the democratic frustration and the crisis of representativeness”. However, they analyze, with the “tripartition of political life” “this crisis reaches a paroxysm” because the force in the center is “structurally” favored because of the transfers of votes in its favor in the duels against the extremes.
Marine Le Pen (RN) intends to “overcome the curse of an unfair voting system, which keeps a worm-eaten system in place”. In the legislative elections of 2017, while her party had climbed to the second round in 120 constituencies, she had obtained only eight deputies, despite her 34% of the votes in the second round of the presidential election.
With 41.5% of the vote in the second round last April, she expects this time at least 60 elected. The far-right official has long advocated full proportional representation in the legislative elections, that is to say in proportion to the votes obtained.
On the other side, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the Nupes alliance on the left are demanding the transition to a Sixth Republic, again with proportional representation as well as a dissociation in time of the presidential and legislative elections. But the leader of LFI has muted his criticism as polls suggest up to 230 seats for his coalition.
The Nupes is even given elbow-to-elbow with the presidential majority in voting intentions at the national level on Sunday but, because of the concentration of its electorate in large cities and suburbs, the translation into seats is not mechanically at the same height. Lack of readability for voters, risk of misunderstanding and disappointment… Critics of the voting system are likely to resurface.
Emmanuel Macron in 2017, like François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy before him, had promised a dose of proportionality, acclaimed by public opinion. Alas, his institutional reform project, which included 15 and then 20% of deputies elected by proportional representation, failed at the start of the previous five-year term. And even if a simple law is enough to pass this reform, the head of state then did not return to the charge, despite the pressing requests a year ago from François Bayrou, his MoDem ally.
The latter was then supported by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Marine Le Pen, and also Julien Bayou (EELV), Jean-Christophe Lagarde (UDI), but not by Olivier Faure (PS) who judged that it was “too late” , nor by Les Républicains who fear “a factor of instability”, in line with General de Gaulle.
The president-candidate put the subject back on the table during his presidential campaign, via the idea of a cross-party commission to renovate the institutions. It will be put in place “as of this fall” and the “reform” of proportional representation could then be launched, he assured a few days ago.
While the proportional system, implemented in most European countries, seems to be gaining more and more consensus in France, “the mass is not said”, warns Denys Pouillard, of the Observatory of political and parliamentary life : what part? with a majority bonus? by departments, regions? Emmanuel Macron said he was “not opposed” to full proportional … which would not be intended to apply under this five-year term, his last.
06/10/2022 10:27:56 – Paris (AFP) – © 2022 AFP