Advertisement

French Politics

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 322–339 | Cite as

An atypical ‘honeymoon’ election? Contextual and strategic opportunities in the 2017 French legislative elections

  • Jocelyn EvansEmail author
  • Gilles Ivaldi
Original Article

Abstract

This article places the 2017 French legislative elections in the broader context of confirmatory legislative elections in France. It argues that Emmanuel Macron’s victory, whilst rooted in the specific political opportunity structure of the 2017 elections, is also a by-product of the broader institutional logic of ‘honeymoon’ legislative races. We look first at key aspects relating to the confirmatory status of post-presidential elections in France, and ask to what extent the 2017 elections fit this model. We then examine how La République en Marche! was able to adapt to the political opportunity structures of this election, particularly the ‘goodness-of-fit’ of their strategic location as regards previous party attachments and civil society profiles. The paper concludes that, whilst disrupting the traditional bipolar format of French politics, Macron’s undeniable success in 2017 was primarily the tactical maximization of a propitious institutional and political competitive landscape amidst voter apathy and party fragmentation, and not a popular surge of support for a political saviour.

Keywords

France 2017 legislative elections La République en Marche! Emmanuel Macron 

References

  1. Brouard, S., and E. Kerrouche. 2013. L’effet candidat lors des élections parlementaires: l’exemple des élections législatives 2012 en France. Revue Française de Science Politique 63 (6): 1113–1136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dupoirier, E., and N. Sauger. 2010. Four rounds in a row: The impact of presidential election outcomes on legislative elections in France. French Politics 81 (1): 21–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Elgie, R. 2017. ‘France—Macron and cohabitation: Don’t worry about it’, Presidential Power, blog, 25 April. http://presidential-power.com/?p=6360.
  4. Evans, J., and G. Ivaldi. 2013. The 2012 French presidential elections. The inevitable alternation?. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Foucault, M. 2006. How useful is the cumul des mandats for being re-elected? Empirical evidence from the 1997 French legislative elections. French Politics 4 (3): 292–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Golder, M. 2006. Presidential coattails and legislative fragmentation. American Journal of Political Science 50 (1): 34–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gougou, F., and S. Labouret. 2013. La fin de la tripartition? Les recompositions de la droite et la transformation du système partisan. Revue Française de Science Politique 63 (2): 279–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Grunberg, G., and F. Haegel. 2007. La France vers le bipartisme? La présidentialisation du PS de l’UMP. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.Google Scholar
  9. Hicken, A., and H. Stoll. 2013. Are all presidents created equal? Presidential powers and the shadow of presidential elections. Comparative Political Studies 46 (3): 291–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jérôme, B., V. Jérôme-Speziari, and M. Lewis-Beck. 2003. Reordering the French election calendar: Forecasting the consequences for 2002. European Journal of Political Research 42 (3): 424–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Laakso, M., and R. Taagepera. 1979. “Effective” number of parties: A measure with application to West Europe. Comparative Political Studies 12 (1): 3–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lemennicier, B., and H. Katir-Lescieux. 2010. Testing the accuracy of the downs spatial voter model on forecasting the winners of the French parliamentary elections in May–June 2007. International Journal of Forecasting 26 (10): 32–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Loonis, V. 2006. Les déterminants de la réélection des députés français de 1871 à 2002. Mesure de l’Histoire 21 (1): 221–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Murray, R. 2008. The power of sex and incumbency: A longitudinal study of electoral performance in France. Party Politics 14 (5): 539–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Shugart, M.S. 1995. The electoral cycle and institutional sources of divided presidential government. American Political Science Review 89 (02): 327–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Shugart, M. 2017. France: What to expect for the assembly? Fruits and Votes, blog, 23 April. https://fruitsandvotes.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/france-what-to-expect-for-the-assembly/.
  17. Shugart, M.S., and J. Carey. 1992. Presidents and assemblies: Constitutional design and electoral dynamics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeedsLeedsUK
  2. 2.Université de Nice-Sophia AntipolisNiceFrance

Personalised recommendations