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France legislative election: record absent voters


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France legislative election: record absent voters

Some political analysts are concerned by a record low turnout for a legislative election in France at just 57 percent.

Sunday’s first round results saw the Socialists and their allies gain more than 47 percent which will almost certainly see them win a parliamentary majority in this weekend’s runoff.

Frederic Sawicki from Sorbonne University in Paris thinks after last month’s presidential elections, many voters have become apathetic.

“Many (voters) believe that ultimately these elections are a kind of ratification of the presidential election. It comes after the presidential campaign and so it probably explains why the voters, in many cases, feel less concerned and involved.

“The elections that followed the presidential elections have, in the past, consistently shown a sharp decline in participation. It is a logical and usual trend,” said Sawicki

France’s centre-right UMP is facing a dilemma of whether to boost its support by courting the far-right National Front party. Publicly and nationally it says it won’t but Sawicki thinks there’s a different story at the local level.

“There is a very strong temptation especially in the south of France for a number of elected members of UMP to make agreements with the National Front.
There are also local elections in 2014 and many elected UMP members are afraid of losing their town hall and think they need the far-right vote.”

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