What do the results mean?
The results of the poll show that the right, which already held the majority, has strengthened its position. The candidates of the ruling La République en Marche (LREM) party were more successful than expected, and there were also positive results for environmentalists.
How does the French Senate work?
The French parliament is made up of the Senate (Senate) and the National Assembly (National Assembly).
The deputies are elected in their functions by the general public and sit in the National Assembly. In contrast, senators, who sit in the Senate, are elected in their roles by panels of local elected officials in the geographic area they represent.
The Senate has the power to vote on laws proposed by parliament, to consider and discuss proposed bills, and to vote on changes to the constitution.
The Senate is made up of 348 members, representing all of the French overseas departments and territories. Every three years, half of the seats in the Senate are to be filled – the results of such an election were published yesterday (September 27).
Once elected, senators retain their seats for six years.
The right keeps the majority
Although the names of the elected senators were revealed last night, it is not yet confirmed which political parties they will join in the Senate. As such, the current results for each part are predicted rather than confirmed.
The current forecast shows The Republicans (marked in dark blue on the infographic below) with 145 to 155 seats, making it the largest party.
The centrist Union (in medium blue), which has an alliance with the Republicans, won 48-52 seats.
– franceinfo (@franceinfo) September 28, 2020
Senator President Gérard Larcher wrote in a Tweeter last night: “This evening, the senatorial majority held by the right and the center has strengthened.”
On the left, the Socialist and Republican group (in pink) is the second group in the Senate with 65 seats.
LREM, in orange, holds 21-25 seats, and the new Ecologiste group, in green, holds 11-12 seats.
Environmentalists have enough senators to form a group
The ecologists, represented by the Ecologiste group, now have more than 10 members, which means that it has the right to form its own parliamentary group in the Senate.
Many new green senators come from the Europe Ecology-Les Verts (EELV) party and from regions of France where mayors concerned about the environment have recently come to power.
Among them, Thomas Dossus and Raymonde Poncet du Rhône, Jacques Fernique (Bas-Rhin), Guy Benarroche (Bouches-du-Rhône) and Monique de Marco (Gironde).
The current environmental senator of Val-de-Marne, Esther Benbassa, declared: “We will be able to support the ecological laws and the proposals of the Citizen’s Convention for the Climate. [The results show] we are gaining ground in rural areas, even though we are often accused of being Bobos [fashionable, middle-class lefties] city centers.
Results show some success for LREM
LREM, the political party created by President Macron, did not experience the disastrous night that some had predicted.
The party held 23 seats in the Senate previously and retained 21 to 25 seats in that election. Senator LREM André Gattolin said: “They thought we were living dead. But we can see that the personal equations in these kinds of elections are essential. ”
Among those who have retained their seat are François Patriat (Côte d’Or) president of the senatorial group LREM and one of the first supporters of Emmanuel Macron.
The far right clings to a seat
The far-right party Le Rassemblement national (RN, formerly the National Front) retained a seat in the Senate.
Returning RN Senator Stéphane Ravier said about his victory: “I had a lot less [guaranteed] voters that in 2014, it was therefore necessary to seek them with conviction.
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