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French voters are scrambling to make a proxy for the vote

Photo: Frederick Florin Agence France-Presse Demonstrators took part in a rally against the far right in Strasbourg on June 15.

John Leicester – Associated Press in Paris

Published yesterday at 3:35 p.m.

  • Europe

French voters who will not be able to cast their ballot themselves are scrambling to make their voice heard during the legislative elections by registering in their hundreds of thousands to entrust their right to vote to a loved one by proxy .

The Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that it had counted 410,000 such requests in the first week after President Emmanuel Macron announced on June 9 that he was dissolving the National Assembly. The bombshell follows the National Rally’s resounding victory in the European elections on the same day.

The ministry said the figure was 6.5 times higher than the figure recorded for the same week in the last legislative elections in 2022.

Voters’ rush to fill out the paperwork that will allow a trusted proxy to vote in their place in the first round on June 30 is partly due to time constraints.

President Macron’s surprise decision and the tight deadline between the dissolution of the National Assembly and the first round caught voters off guard, with some already making other plans.

The legislative election, the decisive second round of which will take place on July 7, also clashes with the start of the annual summer vacation in France, when millions of people will move away from their polling stations.< /p>

The increase in registrations of probably absent voters also reflects the importance they attach to this election, which is already reshaping the French political landscape even before the vote.< /p>

Bardella wants an “absolute majority”

The prospect that this vote could give rise to first far-right government in France since the Nazi occupation during the Second World War had the effect of an electric shock on the opponents of the National Rally.

A few days after President Macron's announcement, the left-wing parties, hitherto divided, put aside their differences to form a coalition, the “New Popular Front”, in order to counter the rise of the far right towards Matignon .

With a frenetic campaign underway, voters are already preparing to make their choice between the left and the far right – or the centrist bloc of Macronists “at 'extreme center.'

Rémi Lefebvre, professor of political science at the University of Lille, declared on the France Info channel that voters who take steps to obtain a proxy tend to be politically engaged and knowledgeable. The fact that hundreds of thousands of people have already done so suggests that they consider the election “absolutely decisive in their personal agenda and in their political life,” said Professor Lefebvre.

Jordan Bardella, president of the National Rally, who hopes to become prime minister on July 7, called on French voters on Tuesday to give his party “an absolute majority.”

« There is an opportunity to reverse the course of history, to change the politics of our country and to change course, but for that, I need to have an absolute majority, and therefore I do not envisage to be the collaborator of the President of the Republic”, he declared Tuesday in an interview on CNews.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116