France is heading to the polls – and then?

The parliamentary elections in France are likely to significantly shift the balance of power.

Dr. Ralph Solveen

Commerzbank Economic Research

June 28 2024

However, a crisis is only to be expected in the unlikely event of a victory for the left-wing alliance, as the national budget would become even more precarious if their numerous election promises were implemented. A majority for the right-wing populists could lead to conflicts at EU level, but hardly to a debt crisis. This is because the party will probably primarily aim to win the upcoming presidential elections in three years' time. However, even in this scenario, as well as in the event of a stalemate or even a very unlikely victory for Macron's alliance, it is unlikely that public finances will be consolidated.

Polls expect significant gains for Le Pen's party, ...

Will the French parliamentary elections over the next two weekends trigger a political earthquake? At the very least, the balance of power in parliament is likely to shift noticeably. According to the polls, both the right-wing populists and the left-wing "New Popular Front" will receive significantly more votes than in the last elections two years ago. In contrast, the parties that have supported President Macron's policies in recent years will lose significant ground.

... but is it enough for a majority?

Due to the majority voting system, forecasts for the distribution of seats in parliament are very uncertain. However, it is almost certain that Macron's camp will not have an absolute majority. The left-wing alliance also seems a long way from a majority. On the other hand, Le Pen's Rassemblement National (RN) could come quite close to a majority, although the polls and the projections derived from them for the distribution of seats in parliament suggest that they will ultimately fall short of this target.

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