Our guide to the French general election: round 2

With voters going to the polls on Sunday 18 June 2017, we present our guide to the second round of the French general election

The second round of voting in the French general election takes place on Sunday 18 June. Below are some of the key things you need to know about ahead of this important moment in French politics.

The National Assembly

The French National Assembly is the lower chamber of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic and represents French citizens at home and abroad. It meets at the Palais Bourbon whilst the Senate, the upper house indirectly elected by elected officials and representing territorial collectivities, meets at the Palais du Luxembourg.

It carries out two main functions: passing laws and supervising government action. The National Assembly can dismiss the administration through a vote of no confidence or a censure motion. When the Senate and the National Assembly cannot agree on a bill, the government can give the National Assembly the final say.
The National Assembly is an elected body consisting of 577 members known as deputies, who are elected to represent constituencies for five-year terms.

General election

The general election takes place every five years in France to elect the 577 deputies sitting in the National Assembly and representing the 577 French constituencies. Deputies are elected by direct universal suffrage in a two-round uninominal majority (first-past-the-post) ballot. Each constituency must have a similar-sized population in order to respect the equality principle in the electoral code.

Deputies are vested with a national mandate, which means that each deputy, although elected to a single constituency, must represent the common interest of the nation as a whole.

They have legislative powers and supervise government action. A deputy is required to belong to a standing committee to debate matters on the Assembly’s agenda. Any committee can propose a bill or changes, drafted in the form of amendments.

Second round of the general election

All French citizens will vote on Sunday 18 June for the second round of the general election.

French citizens in the United Kingdom will be able to choose between Mme Axelle LEMAIRE (Socialist Party) and M. Alexandre HOLROYD (La République en Marche!) as their deputy for the third constituency of French citizens living abroad, which includes 10 countries in Northern Europe: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

Where, when and how to vote in the United Kingdom

The deadline to sign up on the electoral register at the French Consulate General in London or the Consulate General in Edinburgh was 31 December 2016 (6.00 p.m.).
The address submitted to the Consulate before this date determines your voting area.

Click here to see which area you will vote in, depending on your postal code.

The number of your polling station within this voting area is indicated on the notice (convocation) received by email or post prior to election day.
Polling stations across the UK are open from 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. for both rounds.

Three ways to vote in the general election

There are three ways for French citizens abroad to vote in the general election. In addition to casting their vote in a ballot box in person at a polling station or by proxy (the only two methods available in presidential elections and referendums), they may also vote by post.

  • Voting in person

On election day, polling stations across the UK are open from 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.
If you are on the electoral register, you will receive a notice (convocation) by email or post prior to election day. This will give you the details of when and where to vote in your area. Please bring this document as well as ID to your polling station.

Click here for more information (in French) on voting in person.

  • Voting by proxy

If you are unable to get to a polling station you may choose to vote by proxy. A proxy vote means that you choose someone you trust to vote on your behalf. This procedure must be completed as early as possible to avoid the risk of postal delays.
Click here for more information (in French) on voting by proxy.

  • Voting by post

An alternative way to vote in the general election is by post. The deadline for applying for this third voting method was 14 April 2017.

For the 2017 general election, you must have returned your postal vote by:
1st round: Friday 2 June 2017 (6.00 p.m. local time)
2nd round: Friday 16 June 2017 (6.00 p.m. local time)

Click here for more information (in French) on voting by post.

Published on 11/10/2017

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