D-Day for pension reform! This Thursday, March 16, 2023, the bill is submitted to the vote of the Senate and the National Assembly, starting with the upper house. A first ballot without much suspense while vagueness reigns over the outcome at the Palais Bourbon. Our live.
- Will the pension reform be voted on this Thursday, March 16, 2023? Parliamentarians are called upon this morning and this afternoon to vote on the controversial bill.
- The first ballot is organized in the Senate where the session has been open since 9 am. The outcome of the vote in favor of the text is hardly in doubt.
- On the other hand, the uncertainty is immense on the side of the National Assembly where the government is far from certain of obtaining a majority of votes.
- The deputies are summoned at 3 p.m. to vote. Will it be a vote on the bill or on a motion of no confidence if the government engages Article 49.3? The question is not yet settled.
- If the two votes of the day are in favor of the text and/or the government (assuming a 49.3), the pension reform will be definitively adopted.
- Follow this day live on Linternaute.
09:42 – What came out of the joint committee on Wednesday?
Within the framework of the joint committee, the inclusion in the bill of the postponement of the retirement age from 62 to 64 years has been approved. The contribution period goes well to 43 years. A “CDI Seniors” allowing the hiring of employees close to retirement age but in long-term unemployment with an exemption from employer contributions has been approved. In addition, a 5% surcharge for women with children has been adopted to compensate for their maternity leave.
09:08 – In the Senate, what was the result of the first reading vote?
During the vote on the text at first reading on March 11, 307 senators voted: 195 for and 112 against. It is mainly the right (120), supported by the centrists, who expressed themselves in favor of the text despite some opposition in their ranks. The left was strongly opposed to it. Will the vote be similar this Thursday?
09:01 – The session opens in the Senate!
It’s 9 o’clock! The session devoted to the vote on the pension reform opens in the Senate. This is the first decisive vote of the day on the text.
08:42 – The great uncertainty of the National Assembly
On the other hand, in the National Assembly, it is the great vagueness which reigns. The government majority being only relative and not absolute, the executive has no guarantee that its text will pass. In the ranks of Macronie, most of the 250 deputies should approve the text. But the Nupes and the RN will oppose it. It is therefore LR who holds the key to the ballot. But the right is divided between defenders and opponents of the reform. According to the latest count of BFM-TVonly 224 deputies are certain to vote in favor of the bill.
08:37 – No worries about adoption in the Senate?
A priori, it is the parliamentary chamber where Emmanuel Macron has the least to worry about. From 9 a.m., the senators will have to decide on the pension reform. The Luxembourg Palace is in favor of the bill and has already made it known by adopting a first version, at first reading, before the joint committee. Mainly on the right, this hemicycle should approve the reform without a hitch.
08:34 – Emmanuel Macron receives the majority leaders
This Thursday morning, since 8:15 a.m., Emmanuel Macron receives at the Elysée the party leaders and group leaders of the parties making up the government majority in the National Assembly (Renaissance, MoDem, Horizons). The president of the hemicycle Yaël Braun-Pivet was also invited, as was Elisabeth Borne, the Prime Minister. It must be a question of definitively arbitrating the strategy of the day: to vote on the text or to go through 49.3?
08:25 – At what time will the bill be voted on?
While the outcome of the vote on the pension reform is still uncertain, the Senate and the National Assembly will not decide at the same time. At the Luxembourg Palace, the text will be put to the vote at 9 a.m. Then it is only at 3 p.m. that he will return to the Bourbon Palace, a room to which all eyes will be turned this Thursday.
08:21 – Pension reform voting day!
It is the longest day (or almost) of Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term. This Thursday, March 16, 2023, the Senate and then the National Assembly must decide on the pension reform. The final bill, resulting from the mixed parity commission, is submitted to the vote of the two chambers. If a majority of votes vote in favour, the text will be adopted and the reform will come into force.
First, there is little doubt that the Senate will vote for its adoption. Predominantly on the right, the upper house of Parliament has never shown itself to be truly hostile to pension reform, despite debates for technical adjustments. Moreover, a first vote on the text as a whole led to its adoption (195 for, 112 against, 37 abstentions). The situation should not be reversed.
In the National Assembly, on the other hand, it is not the same music. The constant heckling that punctuated the sessions made it impossible to organize a vote on the entire text. Some articles were adopted but the government saw that on the senior index being rejected by the lower house. At the Palais Bourbon, the government has no control, having to deal with the absence of an absolute majority within the hemicycle. It is therefore impossible to ensure passage of the text, despite the alliance with the MoDem and Horizons. 250 votes guaranteed in the best case where all the elected members vote for, it is too little in the event of an alliance of oppositions which represent 318 votes (not counting the 5 non-registered deputies).
But the calculation is not so quick to do. In the opposition, some have allied themselves with the government majority: Les Républicains. On the eve of the vote, 22 said they were ready to support the government, according to BFM-TV. How to get closer to the absolute majority? No. Because in the ranks of the coalition supporting the action of Emmanuel Macron, defections could be recorded: 33 deputies stamped Renaissance (ex-LREM), 1 MoDem and 10 Horizons are not certain to vote for the text. At this stage, only 224 votes in favor would be guaranteed out of the maximum total of 573 votes. Impossible, in this situation and following this simple calculation, to have the text adopted.
What will be the majority to reach?
However, it is not necessary to obtain an absolute majority to pass a law. A relative majority is sufficient, that is to say more than half of the votes of the participants. A major factor must therefore be taken into account: the abstention or absence of elected officials to vote on the text. Thus, if a deputy is present in the Assembly but abstains at the time of the vote, his position is not counted and thus reduces the number of votes cast. What, again, to reduce the threshold of the majority necessary for the adoption of the text.
Rather than voting against, members of the government majority could thus simply choose to abstain so as not to (too) penalize their camp. With a smaller majority to be reached, this could allow Macronie to beg for fewer votes than initially expected. Some hesitants could still be convinced and tip the balance in favor of the government, according to the text adopted in the CMP. This is why the government is cajoling LR.
Before the debates in the National Assembly, the motion for the preliminary rejection of the bill, tabled by Nupes, had been rejected by 292 votes, i.e. all of the majority deputies present that day as well as 48 LRs. A score beyond the absolute majority.
If the executive does not succeed in its political maneuver to put behind it a majority of deputies, it is left with the inflammable weapon of 49.3. An article of the Constitution which engages the responsibility of the government. Concretely, in this context, the law will not be passed but established de facto, unless a majority of deputies oppose this initiative via a motion of censure. If it passes, then the government must resign. For this, it is necessary to obtain an absolute majority, that is to say 287 votes. However, this would mean an alliance of oppositions. Are the Nupes, the RN, LR and LIOT ready to vote for the same text? Hard to imagine. If the motion of censure is tabled by the RN, the Nupes should not vote for it. The case already arose last fall during the finance bill for 2023. The text of the RN had only received the support of elected frontists, even though the left had tabled a similar text. Motion that had, on the other hand, voted the RN.
If 49.3 were to be initiated in the National Assembly for pensions, the motion of censure would have little chance of passing. The RN and the Nupes cumulate 237 votes out of the 287 necessary. At LR (and LIOT to a lesser extent), on whom the adoption or not of the motion would be based, it seems unlikely that around fifty elected officials will join the other oppositions. Firstly because the overthrow of the government would lead to political instability which they do not necessarily advocate. Moreover, in the event of the adoption of the motion of censure, Emmanuel Macron could decide to dissolve the National Assembly and call new legislative elections. For some deputies, whose obtaining the seat in the hemicycle was a hair’s breadth, returning to the campaign could prove complex, with the risk of losing their seat. The political calculation must therefore be taken into account. In history, only one of the 60 motions of no confidence tabled has passed.
Through the traditional legislative process or by force, the pension reform seems to be on the way to being adopted by Parliament, given the tools available to the government. But if it were to be established by 49.3, the social risk of a conflagration cannot be ruled out in view of the dispute over the text.
Among the 577 elected to the National Assembly, who is for, who is against? Thanks to our search engine, here is a first overview (read the methodology below), allowing you to find whether your local representative has positioned himself in favor of the text or opposed it. Without this in any way predicting the outcome of the vote.
In order to make the best use of our search engine, you should either enter the exact surname of your Member of Parliament (with the first letter in capitals, any accents and/or dashes), write all or part of the name of your department (with the first letter in capitals) or select the parliamentary group you want, then press “Search”.
What methodology is used?
The vote on the whole pension reform bill has not yet taken place. Thus, to determine which deputy is for or against this text, Internet user was based on the first important vote of the deputies: that concerning the introductory article of the amending social security financing bill for 2023. Why this vote? This is the first article of the bill and it presents the general spirit of the text with its main budgetary orientations (details here). The parliamentarians who voted in favor therefore show their support for the reform.
486 deputies took part (voting details here). The deputies who were not present for this election are therefore not included in our table. More generally, the deputies of the government majority (Renaissance, MoDem, Horizons) defend the reform, when the opposition groups (RN, LFI, PS, EELV, PCF, LIOT) are against. Only LR is divided on the issue between defenders, opponents and abstainers.