May 24, 2017
We are all anti-system now
While Emmanuel Macron reacts to the Manchester attacks by promising an anti-ISIS task force, and engages with trade unions and employers in a discussion of the labour law reforms he plans to roll out in autumn, media attention focuses on the legislative elections and the list of 7,882 candidates for the 577 constituencies, published yesterday.
Cécile Cornudet finds that Republican and Socialist candidates started to show a Macron-compatible discourse. These are not isolated cases. Whether they want to be integrated in Macron’s success or not to be seen as part of a sectarian old-school party system, the temptation is there. In about 50 constituencies Republicans show themselves as Macron-compatible. Socialists trespass their party lines even more. Benoît Hamon chose to support communists against Manuel Valls, Myriam El-Khomri and Malek Boutih.
We also note that Marine Le Pen, candidate in Pas-de-Calais, does not want to talk about euro membership ahead of the legislative elections, but promises as FN party leader to open up the debate about what French sovereignty means. She blames her defeat on the euro debate, and the party's internal discrepancies about it.
A note on the rules for the two rounds of legislative elections: a candidate wins in the the first round if they get more than 50% of the votes. Otherwise the first two in the first round enter the second round, unless a third or a fourth candidate surpass 12.5% of registered voters. Then all four enter a three- or four-way second round. This is more difficult than it seems. Traditionally the participation rate is lower in the legislative elections than in the presidential elections. With a 50% participation rate, a candidate would have to garner 25% to qualify for the second round. So, the higher the participation rate, the more likely tripartite second rounds are.