French Legislative Election Results 2012: Socialists Takeover Parliament, But Watch for Far-Right Marine Le Pen to Win Big

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.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Patrick Weil

Patrick Weil is a Senior Research Scholar in Law at Yale Law School and a senior research fellow at the French National Research Center in the University of Paris, Pantheon-Sorbonne. Professor Weil's work focuses on comparative immigration, citizenship, and Church States law and policy. Dr. Weil has worked extensively with the French government including participation in a 2003 French Presidential Commission on secularism, established by Jacques Chirac, and preparation of a report on immigration and nationality policy reform for Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in 1997 which led to the implementation of new immigration laws adopted the following year. Dr. Weil also holds an appointment as Professor at the Paris School of Economics.

MORE FROM

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Driver charged with human trafficking after 30-40 people found locked in fatally hot tractor-trailer

The charge against James Matthew Bradley, the alleged driver of the vehicle, could carry a punishment as severe as the death penalty.

Charlie Gard’s parents end legal fight to continue treatment for terminally ill son

The parents have withdrawn their request for Charlie to receive treatment in the U.S.

10th person dies after 38 found locked in sweltering tractor-trailer outside Texas Walmart

8 were found dead at the scene; 2 more died after being rushed to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Dozens killed in deadly car bomb attack in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

‘Hot Mic’ podcast: Democratic brand, WH Communications Director, Jared Kushner to be questioned

Here are the important stories to know for Monday, July 24

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Driver charged with human trafficking after 30-40 people found locked in fatally hot tractor-trailer

The charge against James Matthew Bradley, the alleged driver of the vehicle, could carry a punishment as severe as the death penalty.

Charlie Gard’s parents end legal fight to continue treatment for terminally ill son

The parents have withdrawn their request for Charlie to receive treatment in the U.S.

10th person dies after 38 found locked in sweltering tractor-trailer outside Texas Walmart

8 were found dead at the scene; 2 more died after being rushed to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Dozens killed in deadly car bomb attack in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

‘Hot Mic’ podcast: Democratic brand, WH Communications Director, Jared Kushner to be questioned

Here are the important stories to know for Monday, July 24