Editor's Note: On Sunday, French voters head to the polls in the final round of the country's legislative elections, and Francois Hollande's Socialist party are hoping to gain a majority in Parliament. We asked French professor and political scientist Patrick Weil to interpret the results of today's election.
Jake Horowitz (JH): Will Socialists take control over parliament? Will they win an absolutely majority?
Patrick Weil (PW): Yes, Socialists will surely control the parliament and it is possible that they will not need any alliances with other parties to do it.
JH: What are the implications of this? What message are France's voters sending?
PW: This will give the French President a stable majority to pass rapidly the laws he needs and wants. This will mark the first time the left has won control of the Senate since September 2011. This result means that the French want the president to have a majority. It is a vote against divided power in this time of crisis, as rapid action is often a necessity.
JH: How many votes/influence will the third-place right wing National Front party win?
PW: The NF can win between 1 and 3 seats. This means a rise of its institutional power, and will make it increasingly appealing for the classical right to strike an agreement with the NF in order to build its power.
JH: Who are the key races to watch for?
PW: The key races are three involving Segolene Royal and Claude Gueant who might lose, and Marine Le Pen who might win.
JH: What are the implications for the rest of Europe?
PW: Francois Hollande's victory already had an impact on Europe, putting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the defensive. Hollande is the only European leader to take down the previous five-year stable power.