French legislative runoff elections live

Live commentary Monday morning. Also: two UK by-elections next Thursday, and Biden’s ratings are worse than Trump’s at the same point.

Live Commentary

8:30am Final French legislative results have a slightly bigger gain for National Rally than NUPES.

7:51am With nearly all seats in, Ensemble has 249, NUPES 135, National Rally 88, UDC 68 and left-wing overseas MPs 18. Ensemble and UDC will combined hold a majority of seats.

7:20am With 515 of 577 seats in, Ensemble has 219, NUPES 115, National Rally 86, UDC 66 and there are 18 overseas left-wing MPs.

6:49am There was also a Spanish regional election in Andalusia on Sunday. With 93% counted, the conservative Popular Party has increased from 26 seats at the 2018 election to 57 seats and an outright majority, so they won’t need the far-right VOX to govern.

6:42am While Ensemble has lost its majority, the far-right as well as the left are making big gains. Final results projections have 89 for National Rally and 149 for NUPES.

6:21am Going into this election, Ensemble held 347 seats, NUPES 58, UDC 120 and National Rally just seven. So National Rally has increased its seats already ten-fold.

6:11am Monday With 404 of the 577 seats in, Macron’s Ensemble has won 177, the far-right National Rally 73, the left-wing NUPES 69 and the conservative UDC 60. The last seats will be from urban France, and should favour the left and Ensemble. There are alsi 18 for left-wing overseas MPs.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The first round of the French legislative elections occurred last Sunday. President Emmanuel Macron’s Ensemble alliance won 25.75% of the overall vote, with the left-wing NUPES alliance led by the far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon just behind with 25.66%. The far-right Marine Le Pen’s National Rally had 18.7% and a conservative alliance (UDC) 11.3%.

To win outright in the first round, a candidate needed at least 50% of valid votes and at least 25% of registered voters. With just a 47.5% national turnout, only five of the 577 seats were decided in the first round – four NUPES and one Ensemble. Runoff elections are today, with all polls closed by 4am Monday AEST.

To qualify for the runoff, a candidate had to either make the top two in a seat, or receive at least 12.5% of registered voters for that seat. With low turnout, the second requirement would be difficult for third and lower candidates, and the vast majority of seats will be contested between the top two first round candidates.

Polls suggest that, while Ensemble will fall from its current 347 seats, they will go close to winning an overall majority (289 seats). If Ensemble falls short, they could ally with UDC. NUPES will increase from its current 58 seats to be easily the largest opposition party with around 170 seats.

June 23 UK by-elections: Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton

UK parliamentary by-elections will occur next Thursday in two Conservative-held seats. Both seats were vacated owing to misbehaviour by the incumbent MPs, with the Wakefield MP resigning after a conviction for child sexual assault, while the Tiverton & Honiton MP was caught watching porn in parliament.

Wakefield was held by Labour from 1932 until the Conservatives won it in 2019, while T&H has been Conservative-held since its creation in 1997. Labour will be the main challenger in Wakefield and the Lib Dems in T&H. Two polls in Wakefield have Labour winning by 20 and 23 points; I have not seen any polls in T&H.

If Labour wins Wakefield, I believe it would be their first gain at a by-election since Corby in November 2012. In a sign that by-election results are overread by the political class, the Conservatives regained Corby at the 2015 general election, and have held it since.

Boris Johnson won a confidence vote among Conservative MPs on June 6, but losses in both by-elections could put him back in danger. Labour nationally holds a high single digit lead, but I think this is because of inflation. UK inflation rose by 2.5% alone in April for a 12-month rate of 9.0%.

Biden’s ratings are worse than Trump at this point

In the FiveThirtyEight poll aggregate, US President Joe Biden’s ratings are currently 54.2% disapprove, 39.8% approve (net -14.4). He currently has the worst ratings of any polled president at this point in their presidencies, and that includes Donald Trump. Inflation is a major problem in the US too.

Last Tuesday, Republicans won a federal by-election in the heavily Hispanic Rio Grande Valley in Texas; it’s the first time Republicans have won a seat in this region since 2010.

US redistricting after the 2020 Census is nearly finished. There are 203 Republican-leaning Congressional Districts out of 429 completed CDs, 196 Democratic-leaning and 40 competitive, with changes from the previous maps of Democrats up six, competitive down six and Republicans steady. The final remaining state is Louisiana (six CDs), which will probably b 5-1 Republican.

A few months ago, Democrats were doing much better, but were undermined when their New York gerrymander was rejected by state courts, while a Republican gerrymander of Florida was sustained.

20 comments on “French legislative runoff elections live”

  1. “Inflation is a major problem in the USA too”

    What planet do you people, offering your opinions as you do, live on?

    The uneducated telling their fellow uneducated what they do not know

    And dangerous

    No doubt Australia (and any particular Labor State or Territory) has exported inflation to the World, as Whitlam achieved (as the Australian media informed and continue to inform)

  2. Not seen any Tiverton polls either but the general feeling is that the Lib Dems will take the seat but the margin will be quite narrow whether it’s them or the Tories that win it.

    Not a good sign that Boris hasn’t visited either.

    Even Tories are saying that with some already including the predicted loss in their reasons for not supporting Boris in the confidence vote.

  3. “Biden’s ratings are worse than Trump at this point”…

    I am not surprised.
    Trump: supported by the right, centre dubious, hated by the left.
    Biden: supported by the centre, hated by right and left.

  4. Biden is a lesson in pretending that America isn’t partisan. If a Democrat president isn’t willing to upset norms they will be seen as weak and ineffective.

    But perhaps the most important thing is enforcing party solidarity. The ALP figured this out. The Democrats haven’t.

    America is likely lost for a generation or more. In Australia all we can hope is that it doesn’t effect their foreign policy too much.

  5. Perhaps I am way off base but, looking at US politics over the past two years, the Democrat who has impressed me most by far is Stacy Abrams. Any chance she might aim higher in future?

  6. Surely US politics is at a stage by now where they care more about having a competent government, led by a unifier, rather than prioritizing party or ideology.

    They couldnt get their before because Trumps dominance of the right blocked any sane contenders.
    With trump now reduced to a feared ghost perhaps both parties can get back to fighting for the center.

    We can live in hope at least.

  7. An interesting early pattern is that turnout is so far slightly higher than in the first round (usually second round turnout is lower than the first round). Besides this being the case in mainland France, this is mostly true of the overseas territories which have already fully voted (and where one minister was defeated).

    If that pattern holds, it may mean that the tight margin of the first round could have encouraged some voters to turn-out who otherwise would not have done so and/or early indications the second-round ground game by NUPES has found some degree of success.

    On a minor note: “Wakefield was held by Labour from 1932 until the Conservatives won it in 3019.” When a typo like that creeps into such matter-of-fact analysis, it amuses me more than most typos do.

  8. So Ensemble (or Together if it is translated as Ensemble in French is different to an Ensemble in English) will have to deal with the The Republicans. Whether the movement continues to exist at the next election when Macron is no longer around will be interesting.

    NUPLES did succeed in winning more seats but it is not going to manage to grab any more power. The coalition did have work better than the left parties being all fragmented and I can probably see them wanting to do that again in the future but it will be hard to keep together.

    Le Pen’s National Rally looks to be the biggest “winner” as they now have enough of a block to be given more powers as a party and the right to challenge laws in the constitutional courts.

    The traditional Right lost seats but came out as king makers. So perhaps ended up more powerful than before. Go figure.

  9. Are you also going to cover the Columbian Presidential election? Very odd election there with the Leftist candidate facing down the popularist outsider Independent in the 2nd round. It is the first time there has not been a candidate from the two many stream blocks in living memory.

  10. Interesting result in Andalusia on Sunday, with a historic outright majority for the Conservatives in a traditional bastion of the left.

    20% ahead of the socialists, more-or-less. And no need to work with the far right Vox to get laws passed.

    This is not the first poor regional result for the PSOE in the last year or two, although it is a particularly grievous one.

    Looks like Sanchez is now merely keeping Spain’s PM seat warm until next year’s national election. Getting into bed with communists and hoping people will somehow still think you are moderate hasn’t worked very well.

  11. Snappy Tom

    Not a chance of a grande coalition.

    Nupes are very far left, especially Melenchon’s party who are the lion’s share of Nupes. He and his party are more-or-less communist (no that’s not hyperbole), anti-Nato (anti-Atlanticist / anti-Western full stop), Eurosceptic (Macron is the EU’s biggest fan), fans of Putin (obviously deleted and denied all of a sudden, with a big preference on talking about the ‘cost of living’ funnily enough. . .), they want to not only keep the current low retirement age of 62 but lower it to 60 (Macron has campaigned on raising to 65 to save the economy long-term, basically), and want to spend ad lib on social benefits whilst cutting back on defence spending.

    Apart from those little differences, it would go swimmingly well. 😉

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