A record 110 candidates from France’s Front National have made it through to the deciding second round of voting in French parliamentary elections, doubling the party’s previous best and making a mockery of the English-language controlled media coverage which claimed that the party had collapsed in the weekend voting.
Although the turnout was substantially lower than in last month’s presidential elections, party leader Marine Le Pen polled nearly 45 percent of the vote in her Pas des Calais constituency, coming first and almost guaranteeing her victory in the second round set for June 18.
Just like the presidential elections, France’s constitution demands that all members of that country’s National Assembly poll at least 50 percent of the vote. If a candidate achieves this total in the first round, they are elected. If no candidate achieves this total, then the top two candidates go through to a second round.
Currently, the FN has two seats in the National Assembly, but the second round should see it win up to ten seats—and more if it can get the turnout to increase.
Only 49 percent of the electorate cast a ballot in the first round of voting, the lowest level in a parliamentary election in France for six decades.
“This catastrophic abstention rate should raise the question of the voting rules which keep millions of our compatriots away from the polling stations,” Le Pen said in her reaction.
She is currently a member of the European Parliament but this will be the first time that she enters the French parliament. Her opponent will be from novice from Emmanuel Macron’s “new” party, which was formed out of the discredited Socialist Party in a deliberate—and clearly successful—ploy to deceive the voters that Marcon was not actually far let but a “centrist.”
A Macron party election poster.