Will the far-right get a majority in the French parliament?

Emma Pearson
Emma Pearson - [email protected]
Will the far-right get a majority in the French parliament?
French far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party leader Marine Le Pen followed by party President Jordan Bardella. Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

With the far-right in the lead after the first round of the snap French elections the big question now is whether they can win a majority in parliament - which gives them the right to nominate the prime minister.


The final results for round one of voting, released early on Monday morning, showed the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party well in the lead with 33.4 percent of the votes.

They were followed by the alliance of leftist parties, called the Nouveau Front Populaire on 28 percent, Macron's centrist group Ensemble on 20.8 percent, and the right-wing Les Republicains party on 10.2 percent.

Follow the latest on the results HERE.

We now move on to round two - which will give the final results in each of France's 577 constituencies.

The big question is whether any party or group can reach the magic number of 289 seats, which would give them a majority in the Assemblée nationale (the French parliament).


A party or group that gets 289 seats not only gets to exercise control over votes on legislation, but can also nominate a member of the party to be prime minister.

If a party other than the president's party has a majority then the prime minister and the president are forced to work together in an easy alliance known as a cohabitiation.

So will the far-right RN win enough seats to get a majority?

First things first - this is all guesswork, we won't know for certain whether Le Pen and Jordan Bardella's party will have enough seats for a majority until the results of the second round are in on the evening of Sunday, July 7th.

However the pollsters have been working their magic trying to predict the total seat share from the first round vote and it seems they RN are set to win a huge number of seats. 

Various different polling agencies have different and very wide estimates, but all are saying that the final result for the RN could be close to that key number of 289.

A projection for the Elabe institute for BFMTV, RMC and La Tribune Dimanche put RN and its allies on between 255 and 295 seats.

Early projections from Ipsos suggest that RN and its allies could win between 230 and 280 seats in parliament.

It's worth noting that given the unpredictability around the second round of voting (see below) France's official polling watchdog does not endorse the seat projections by the polling companies.

Polls in the run up to the first round suggested the RN would not gain an absolute majority in parliament but wouldn't be far off.

Second round votes

A big factor in the second round will be the 'triangulaires' or areas where the second round has three candidates.


In areas where this happens, it's possible that some parties will agree to withdraw candidates in order to avoid splitting the vote - negotiations are ongoing in this area but it's most likely to happen with leftist or centrist candidates.

The intention is to present a common front against the far-right - so if this happens in a significant number of areas it could affect the far-right's overall seat numbers.

Follow the latest on those negotiations HERE.

Prime minister

If the far-right does gain an overall majority it has the right to nominate a candidate for prime minister and that person will be 28-year-old Jordan Bardella.

He has already said that he will only accept the PM role if his party wins an overall majority.

Although Macron will remain the president, having a parliamentary majority and a prime minister means the far-right will be in a much stronger position to implement some of their flagship policies including a drastic reduction in immigration and the imposing of 'French preference' to give precedence to French citizens in employment and housing.

READ ALSO What would a far-right prime minister mean for foreigners in France?



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