We are still few days away from the second round and the key highlight of the first round was abstention at a record 52.5%. At the presidential election, we saw the emergence of 3 blocks, while at the current parliamentary election, we see 2 blocs (Listen further here).
At this point, several possible scenarios:
- Ensemble! Macron’s coalition wins a majority above the required 289 seats at the National Assembly. Macron’s government will rely on the kind of vote called “playmobile”. Macron can rely on it to expedite reforms on pensions, fiscal commitments to the European treaties in order to bring the budget deficit back to 3%. “Playmobile” is a term used in French politics in reference to the readymade regulations and laws that can be quickly expedited. It’s a derogatory term mainly used by the opposition, whichever side of the spectrum it comes from, to describe how debates on specific laws are not really happening. Yet, with the Front National gaining the ability to form a parliamentary group projected within a range of 23 to 45 seats and the newly found power of the NUPES (projections of 161 to 210 seats), expect a lot of hardening in the debates. These two groups will use whatever opportunity they can to disrupt that “playmobile” process that characterized Macron’s first presidential mandate.
- Ensemble! Macron’s coalition wins a relative majority or even a thin majority: Macron will then have to rely on Right Wing Les Républicains. It will still be possible for Macron to expedite his reforms but on a case by case basis and probably on a much harder line than in the previous scenario. However, the left wing NUPES will also rely on its large number of seats (161-210) to create opposition and harden the debate. Despite Macron’s ability to rely on the right wing Les Républicains, expect very hard debates, leading to a tense social climate, that some already call the “Fourth Round”.
- Left Wing NUPES wins a relative majority or Left Wing NUPES wins a majority above the required 289 seats at the National Assembly. In that case, it’s a whole new political universe that could have wider implications for European bond markets. We will talk about it further in the coming days.
So these are the possible scenarios. But they are still based on assumptions that remain irrelevant. So much can still happen. Such projections do not mean anything at this point. These are 577 single elections.
In any case, the probability that France will be difficult to govern with a grid-locked National Assembly looms high on the horizon. Pension reforms, spending cuts, to just name a few, will be very difficult to pass.
Between now and Sunday, there are several variables that can still play a role:
- The abstention; it was the highest among the younger generations (60% to 70%). Should they decide to go back to the voting booth, they will benefit Mélenchon’s NUPES.
- The reserve of votes; They are more favorable to Ensemble! which can better rely on the right wing voters whose candidates could not pass the first round.
That’s what I wanted to share with you,
Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment.