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POLITICS

Five maps to understand the French parliamentary election

From political deadlock to far-right gains, here are the essential maps you need to understand what happened in France's 2022 parliamentary elections.

Five maps to understand the French parliamentary election
French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) leader Marine Le Pen poses while campaigning (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP)

Almost two months after Emmanuel Macron won his re-election campaign – the first French president to do so in France in almost twenty years – the French people have voted not to give him an absolute majority in parliament.

Instead, opposition groups like La Nupes (the leftist coalition) and Rassemblement National (the far-right party led by Marine Le Pen) consolidated large blocs in parliament, enough to make the next five years very complicated for Emmanuel Macron.

Here are the maps you need to visualise what happened in France’s parliamentary elections.

The big picture

This map shows an overall picture of which parties won which districts across France.

The president’s centrist coalition, Ensemble (in yellow), has a lot of the country’s west coast of the country to thank for its victories, with regions like Brittany, Pays de la Loire, and Nouvelle Aquitaine providing support for the president’s party. 

Elsewhere the picture is more fragmented with leftist alliance Nupes (in red), far-right Rassemblement National (dark blue) and centre-right Les Républicains (light blue) all picking up seats around the country, although the far right did well all along the Mediterranean coast. 

Macron misery

Nevertheless, the picture for the sitting president is considerably less cheery than it was in 2017.

Though the president’s centrist coalition will still be the largest group in parliament, it has lost 105 deputés (MPs) in the last five years.

A significant portion left the party or resigned from their positions in the early days of Macron’s first term, while a large chunk lost their seats to candidates from the Rassemblement Nationale and Nupes in Sunday’s election.

Health minister Brigitte Bourguignon, maritime minister Justine Benin and environment minister Amélie de Montchalin were among the victims in Sunday, as well as party faithful and current president of the National Assembly Richard Ferrand and former interior minister Christophe Castaner. Ex education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer had been knocked out in the first round.

Left alliance

Four leftist parties – the hard left La France Insoumise (LFI), the centre left Parti Socialiste (PS), the Greens (EELV) and the Communists  (PCF) – came together in this election to form a coalition known as La Nupes (Nouvelle Union populaire, écologique et sociale) and together they won 133 seats, making it the second largest group in the parliament.

In the previous government, the four parties of the left only occupied 60 seats between them, so this represents a significant gain when compared to 2017.

But this doesn’t represent a particular shift to the left – the percentage of people voting for La Nupes in the first round in 2022 was 25.78 percent – only a fraction higher (25.38 percent) than the combined result of the four parties of La Nupes in 2017. However, by forming the pre-election pact the leftist parties agreed not to stand candidates against each other, and therefore turned their vote share into a larger number of seats in parliament. 

This map shows which factions within the leftist coalition won parliamentary seats, and where they were successful. It remains to be seen how well the coalition will be maintained in the coming months, as the parties hold differing perspectives on key issues.

The rise of the far-right

Shocking pollsters and election experts alike, France’s far-right party, Le Rassemblement Nationale (RN), won 89 seats in parliament.

Previously, the party only won eight in 2017. It represents a historic record for the far-right in France, and an encroaching change for France’s traditional political geography, where the south of the country once represented a stronghold for the left.

The RN is now the largest single-party opposition bloc in France’s parliament.

The real winner: abstention

Over half of French people – about 54.77 percent – did not participate in the second round of the parliamentary elections.

Early analysis shows that age and household income played a role in who voted and who did not: only 29 percent of 18-24 year olds and 36 percent of people living in a household with a total income of less than €1,200 per month went to the polls. 

And finally . . . Zemmour

The below map shows the total number of seats gained by extreme right TV pundit-turned politician Eric Zemmour – a big, fat zero.

Zemmour’s Reconquête and his party did not gain a single seat and all its candidates – including Zemmour himself – were knocked out in the first round.

His total vote share was just four percent, falling from seven percent in the presidential elections in April.

Member comments

  1. Plurialism (le pluralisme) is absolutely essential for a prosperous, thriving democracy.

    Pluralism propels the principle that diversity is beneficial to society and that political power should be enjoyed by disparate functional or cultural groups within a society, including religious groups, trade unions, professional organizations, and ethnic minorities.

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POLITICS

Income tax, property grants and cigarettes: What’s in France’s 2023 budget?

France's finance minister has unveiled the government's financial plans for the next year, and says that his overall aim is to 'protect' households in France from inflation and rises in the cost of living - here's what he announced.

Income tax, property grants and cigarettes: What's in France's 2023 budget?

The 2023 Budget was formally presented to the Council of Ministers on Monday, before economy minister Bruno Le Maire announced the main details to the press. 

The budget must now be debated in parliament, and more details on certain packages will be revealed in the coming days, but here is the overview;

Inflation – two of the biggest measures to protect households from the rising cost of living had already been announced – gas and electricity prices will remain capped in 2023, albeit at the higher rate of 15 percent, while low-income households will get a €100-200 grant. The energy price cap is expected to cost the government €45 billion in 2023.

EXPLAINED: What your French energy bills will look like in 2023

Property renovations – the MaPrimeRenov scheme, which gives grants to householders for works that make their homes more energy-efficient, will be extended again into 2023, with a budget of €2.5 billion to distribute.

Income tax – the income tax scale will be indexed to inflation in 2023, so that workers who get a pay increase to cope with the rising cost of living don’t find themselves paying more income tax. “Disposable income after tax will remain the same for all households even if their salary increases,” reads the 2023 Budget.

Pay rises –  pay will increase for teachers, judges and other civil servants as inflation is forecast to reach 4.3 percent next year after 5.4 percent in 2022. Around €140 million is assigned to increase the salaries of non-teaching staff in schools. 

New jobs – nearly 11,000 more public employees will be hired, in a stark reversal of President Emmanuel Macron’s 2017 campaign promise to slash 120,000 public-sector jobs – 2,000 of these jobs will be in teaching. 

Small business help – firms with fewer than 10 employees and a turnover of less than €2 million will also benefit from the 15 percent price cap on energy bills in 2023. The finance ministry will put in place a simplified process for small businesses to claim this aid. In total €3 billion is available to help small businesses that are suffering because of rising costs. 

Refugees – In the context of the war in Ukraine, the government plans to finance 5,900 accommodation places for refugees and asylum seekers in various reception and emergency accommodation centres. The budget provides for a 6 percent increase in the “immigration, asylum and integration” budget.

Cigarettes – prime minister Elisabeth Borne had already announced that the price of cigarettes will rise “in line with inflation”.

Ministries – Le Maire also announced the budget allocation for the various ministries. The Labour ministry is the big winner with an increase of 42.8 percent compared to last year, coupled with the goal to reach full employment by 2027. Education gets an increase of €60.2 billion (or 6.5 percent more than in 2022), much of which will go on increasing teachers’ salaries, while the justice and environment ministries will also see increased budgets.

Conversely, there was a fall in spending for the finance ministry itself.

Borrowing –  the government will borrow a record €270 billion next year in order to finance the budget. “This is not a restrictive budget, nor an easy one – it’s a responsible and protective budget at a time of great uncertainties,” said Le Maire. 

The government is tabling on growth of one percent, a forecast Le Maire defended as “credible and pro-active” despite an estimate of just 0.5 percent GDP growth by the Bank of France, and 0.6 percent from economists at the OECD.

The public deficit is expected to reach five percent of GDP, as the EU has suspended the rules limiting deficit spending to three percent of GDP because of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Parliament

The budget plans now need to be debated in parliament where they are likely to face fierce opposition. Emmanuel Macron’s centrist LREM party and its allies lost their majority in elections earlier this year.

Macron also plans to push ahead with a pension reform that would gradually start pushing up the official retirement age from 62 currently, setting up a standoff with unions and left-wing opposition parties.

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