French Politics Taking a New Path?

The second round of the French general elections will take place on Sunday. Macron’s political movement will probably get a strong majority.


Are you fed up with French politics? Even if you’re not French, you have probably heard about it for months and months now. The right-wing primaries indeed took place at the end of 2016, then the left-wing primaries, then the Presidential elections and finally the general elections. It is finally almost over.

But stay tuned until Sunday. Although there will probably be no big surprise, it is still a highly important election.

The French general elections have always been a big deal since the 5th Republic was established, in 1958. Until 2002, the President used to dissolve the National Assembly (one of the two chambers of the French Parliament) when he took his office to get a strong majority for the next 5 years, which allowed him to govern and pass the bills he campaigned for. Since 2002, both the Presidential and General elections happened every 5 years, the general elections few weeks after the Presidential ones. The French citizens have always provided the President with a majority anyway, both before and after 2002. And there never was any surprise.

2017 elections were however different. If you have been interested in French politics over the last months, you might know there was a huge uncertainty with regard to the results. The polls indeed predicted Alain Juppé (right-wing party) to be elected, but he was defeated during the primaries. Nobody then knew about Hollande’s candidacy for another term, and he finally gave up.

And Emmanuel Macron, who was absolutely unknown a couple of years ago, launched his political movement last year and won the Presidential election without support from any traditional party. Although he got the highest position in France, only few polls predicted he would get a strong political majority, as he has no real political party and hose “new candidates” from the civil society, without political experience.

But politics is maybe taking a new path. The first round of the General elections which took place last week (two weeks ago for the French citizens who live abroad) clearly showed the French citizens were sceptical towards the traditional politicians. Many left-wing and right-wing leaders have been eliminated and the “new” candidates from “En Marche” clearly won in many constituencies. Although there is nothing absolutely certain, surveys predicted “En Marche” could get up to 75% or 80% of the seats.

A voté.

Publié par Emmanuel Macron sur dimanche 11 juin 2017


And if you have a look at the primaries and the new political movements which have grown in France over the last years, it seems the citizens are looking for new representatives. But be careful with such an assessment. Even if you could think the electors trust new political leaders or candidates, do not forget that more than 50% of them did not go to the poll stations to vote last Sunday (less than 25% voted in Belgium!). It seems it is the same deal all over Europe and the World, while populism has been rising over the last couple of years. The main challenge is then about making the people more confident towards politics.