Last day of the electoral campaign in France, with maximum health alert. Public Health announced “strong heat, drink water, stay cool and go out only during the least hot hours and protected from the sun.”
A difficult mission for Ensemble, Emmanuel Macron’s party, which is at stake for its absolute majority in the National Assembly in Sunday’s ballot, and for Nupes, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s leftist alliance, which intends to get enough seats to force Macron to nominate him prime minister.
As criticism of the president mounts for his campaign trip to Ukraine, 38 degrees are expected on Saturday and 40 degrees on Sunday. Never seen in the month of June. A record in Paris. The “heat plume”, as meteorologists call it, which has caused the earliest “canicule” ever recorded in France.
Temperature will be a determining factor. in the ballot of these parliamentary elections. This Friday even schools were closed in France due to the heat and pollution. School buildings are not prepared to withstand it.
With 14 departments on red alert and 56 on orange alert, the closing of the electoral campaign is complicated.
The two candidates who lead the campaign are not the defining ones. The 25 million French people who did not go to vote in the first round and achieved a record number of abstentions, they will be the ones who will decide these crucial elections next Sunday in France.
Leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon could wrest a parliamentary majority from Emmanuel Macron. Photo: REUTERS
what the polls say
According to a survey by Odoxa Blackbone Consulting for the daily The Figaro70 percent of the French They don’t want an absolute majority. in the National Assembly”.
They want “a relative majority” for Ensemble, the government party, that forces them to negotiate all the time with the other deputies. A likely reflection of Macron’s “Jupiterian” airs and his decision to annul Parliament.
Only 35 percent would like to see Jean Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the leftist Nupes alliance, “as prime minister.”
Abstention will again be very high in the ballot: it is predicted at 53 percent, according to Gaël Sliman, president of Odoxa.
Another finding of the survey is that the French do not expect “republican” voting slogans for this second round.
French President Emmanuel Macron facing a crucial legislative election. Photo: REUTERS
The possibility that the party of the xenophobic and populist Marine Le Pen of National Regroupment or that of Nupes will grow does not worry the voters any more. A very French custom that has changed.
In 108 constituencies where Ensemble faces Le Pen’s party, fewer than one Frenchman in four (24 percent) would vote for Nupes to stop Le Pen.
The “republican vote”, which was used in France to stop the then National Front and Le Pen, has vanished. Le Pen is “de-demonized”. She can go from 7 to 40 seats.
Therefore, forecasting the results on Sunday is a real adventure. Nobody knows. The polls show an increase in the left-wing parties, which make up Nupes.
In a National Assembly with 577 seats, Nupes could obtain between 179 and 225 seats. Ensemble, the presidential majority, would get between 252 and 292. But the absolute majority is 289 seats, in the most favorable framework.
The conformation of forces in the French Parliament. /AFP
With this scenario, the Republican conservatives, who had almost disappeared in the first round, become indispensable for Ensemble to negotiate their laws. Even if they must retain 42 to 62 seats, it will be a group that Macron needs. This is going to force Macron to turn his policies to the right.
National Regroupment, Marine Le Pen’s party, could also reach between 25 and 49 deputies. It currently has no more than 7 seats.
According to the polls, Macron’s party would lack between ten and seats to obtain an absolute majority. The electorate wants to strengthen the left and the right in Parliament, they are looking for a debate.
Only 32 percent of the electorate is “very interested” in the vote, and it is believed that there would be a turnout of 42 percent in this second legislative round.
Young people were the main abstentionists, especially those under 35 years of age. If they show up to vote, they will favor Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
Campaign and heat wave
Despite 33 degrees in the shade, Clement Beaune campaigns in the Marais. The former minister of Europe is playing all or nothing and could lose his place in this election. In Paris constituency 7, Nupes won by 41 percent.
He accuses Nupes that “a basic salary of 1,500 euros, a pension at 60, or the freezing of prices” that they propose “is an unfunded gift to all”, which will increase taxes or aggravate the public debt.
In Calvados the temperature is lower. There is Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne campaigning in her jurisdiction, where she won 34.32 percent in the first round. Macron’s cabinet ministers are campaigning across the country.
darts against the president
The French opposition protests against the opportunistic trip and in the middle of the legislative elections of Emmanuel Macron to Ukraine, on Thursday.
Jean François Cope of the Republicans called it “a flippancy.” Macron returned this Friday from kyiv, where he had to travel by train. From there, in an interview with BFMTV, he announced the support of Ukraine’s candidacy for the European Union as “a sign of hope” and a “message to Russia”, with whom he will continue to maintain exchanges. From Rzeszów in Poland, Macron returned to Paris on the presidential plane.