French prepare to cast ballots in first round of parliamentary election

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French prepare to cast ballots in first round of parliamentary election

France is preparing for the first round of parliamentary elections on Sunday.

President Emmanuel Macron is hoping his fledgling party will do well. His former challenger, Marine Le Pen, is looking to avenge her defeat.

CGTN’s Kate Parkinson reports.

French President Emmanuel Macron wants to shake up French politics with a team of political new-comers. But he’ll need to gain a clear majority to do it.  

Over half of Macron’s would-be MPs are brand new to politics. Selecting these ‘citizen candidates’ are part of the new president’s plan to shake up the French political system. He also wants to see a more gender balanced parliament – fielding an equal number of male and female legislative hopefuls.  

Macon needs to secure a strong majority in France’s National Assembly in order to push through his ambitious agenda of labor, welfare and education reforms.

But winning a strong majority is no easy task for Macron’s fledgling party. Recent polls do indicate that La Republique En Marche will secure the most votes, but this is the first time the party has taken part in a parliamentary election – and with so many of its candidates being unknown to voters and inexperienced – the outcome remains far from certain. 

French prepare to cast ballots in first round of parliamentary vote

While the stakes are high for President Macron’s new centrist party, the stakes are even higher for his former rival’s far-right National Front party.

National Front leader, Marine Le Pen is running for a parliamentary seat in the northern heartlands. The party held two seats in the outgoing parliament. This time, they’re focused on adding several more. But that will be no easy task.

Six months ago senior National Front figures were hoping the party would win 50, maybe even 60, seats in the parliament. But recent polls predict only a handful of their candidates will be elected – if the pollsters are right it will be a major embarrassment for the party, and especially for Marine Le Pen.