HIGH STAKES: FRANCE’S PARLIAMENTARY VOTE
- President Macron needs an absolute majority to push reforms
- Polls open on Sunday at 8am
- If no candidate wins more than 50 percent, second round will take place June 18
- National Front seeks to present itself as ‘only opposition force’
- Socialist Party looking to save its skin after abysmal performance in presidential vote
Emmanuel Macron’s victory in May’s presidential election was a political earthquake for France, and his one-year-old party is now keen to win a strong parliamentary majority to push through reforms.
More than 47 million people are eligible to vote in the first round of a parliamentary election on Sunday to choose members of the National Assembly, the country’s lower house of parliament.
Polls open at 8am (06:00 GMT). They will close, in the largest cities, at 8:00pm (18:00 GMT).
More than 50,000 police will be on patrol in a country still under a state of emergency following a wave of attacks that have killed more than 230 people since 2015.
Here are key facts to know as French voters head to the polls.
How do the parliamentary elections work?
There are 577 seats up for grabs, including 11 which represent more than 1.5 million French citizens living overseas.
Each constituency represents about 125,000 inhabitants.
If no candidate wins more than 50 percent in the first round on Sunday, the two top-placed go into a second round on June 18 – as well as any other candidate who won the votes of more than 12.5 percent of the local electorate.
A total of 7,882 candidates are standing nationwide in a process expected to see many fresh faces elected – not least because more than 200 outgoing members of parliament are not running for re-election.
The average candidate’s age is 48.5 years and more than 42 percent are women. In the outgoing parliament, women represented only 26.9 percent of deputies, or 155 out of 577, which was itself a record.