As at 12:00 noon in France, the turnout in France’s second round of legislative elections was only 17,75 percent, which is even lower than the 19,24 percent recorded during the first round last Sunday. This is despite calls by the right-wing opposition, led by Marine Le Pen of the Front National, for a “patriotic surge” in order to staunch a run-away victory by Macron’s En Marche! (On the move) party.
According to the ministry of the interior, the figure was lower than that of the parliamentary election in 2012, which showed a participation rate of 21,41 percent at noon. Opinion pollsters in France that the abstention rate could be as high as one in two voters, boosting the performance of the favourite party.
There are 47 million registered voters who are eligible to cast their ballots in 67 000 polling stations across the country and in overseas departments. On the French mainland, voting booths will close at 6.00 p.m., but in big cities they will stay open for two hours longer.
Current projections show that Macron’s En Marche party and its ally MoDem could win between 400 and 445 seats in the 557-seat National Assembly, which would be the biggest victory of any party for sixty years.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said: “France is back. For the past month, the president has shown confidence, willingness and daring in France and on the international stage.”
In the meantime, it has been revealed that a foiled terrorist attack during the presidential election in April and May had targeted both polling stations and right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen of the Front National, as reported by the news magazine L’Express.
The Front National has issued a statement in which it expresses its “surprise” that “neither Marine Le Pen nor her campaign staff had been informed of the grave danger. It would still have been unknown if leaks to the press had not taken place.”