a measure that divides… and which would favor the RN?

a measure that divides and which would favor the RN

For several decades, political leaders have called for electing deputies by proportional representation. But the RN risk has always restrained the governments in place.

Establish proportional representation in legislative elections? For several decades, this proposal has been formulated, commented on, defended and even promised… Without ever having been the subject of a real lasting reform to implement it. Today, the 577 deputies of the National Assembly are elected by single-member majority voting in two rounds. A voting method criticized by some, since it prevents majority votes from being represented within the national representation. The use of proportional representation in legislative elections was already seen, for a time, under the Fifth Republic. We have to go back to 1986, when the socialist president François Mitterrand decided to experiment with it to try to counter the right, whose rise was inevitable after a defeat in the cantonal elections.

But on March 16, 1986, the RPR-UDF majority won the legislative elections: Jacques Chirac entered Matignon, and the first period of cohabitation of the Fifth Republic began. And the National Front then won 35 deputy seats in the hemicycle. This is the only time that this voting method, which allocates seats to lists of candidates in proportion to the votes they receive, was used in the Fifth Republic.

But since then, the idea of ​​reintroducing proportional representation in legislative elections continues to appeal to certain political groups. François Bayrou, the president of the Democratic Movement (MoDem), had sent a letter to this effect to Emmanuel Macron for the legislative elections of 2022. Other political figures had followed suit, from Jean-Luc Mélenchon of Les Insoumis to… . Marine Le Pen, National Rally MP.

For its defenders, this voting method would make it possible to have a National Assembly that is much more representative of the French. But for its detractors, proportional representation would mean a hemicycle impossible to govern, a majority too unstable to pass laws, since it would be difficult for any party to obtain an absolute majority. It would therefore be obligatory for the groups to join forces and find compromises in circumstances. But above all, reinstating this voting method would mechanically open the door a little more to the far right, capable for years of being the party for which the French vote the most in a single round.