French legislative election, 1997

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French legislative election, 1997
France
1993 ←
25 May and 1 June 1997
→ 2002

All 577 seats to the French National Assembly
289 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Lionel Jospin 2008.jpg Alain Juppé chez Réforme et Modernité.jpg François Léotard 1988.jpg
Leader Lionel Jospin Alain Juppé François Léotard
Party PS RPR UDF
Leader's seat Haute-Garonne-7th Gironde-2nd Var-5th
Last election 53 seats 242 seats 207 seats
Seats won 255 139 112
Seat change +202 -103 -95
Popular vote 5,977,045 (1st round)
9,722,022 (2nd round)
3,983,257 (1st round)
5,714,354 (2nd round)
3,617,440 (1st round)
5,284,203 (2nd round)
Percentage 23.49% (1st round)
38.20% (2nd round)
15.65% (1st round)
22.46% (2nd round)
14.22% (1st round)
20.07% (2nd round)

Legislatives1997.png

Map of results by constituency

PM before election

Alain Juppé
RPR

Elected PM

Lionel Jospin
PS

A French legislative election took place on 25 May and 1 June 1997 to elect the 11th National Assembly of the Fifth Republic. It was the consequence of President Jacques Chirac's decision to call the legislative election one year before the deadline.

In March 1993, the right won a large victory in the legislative election and a comfortable parliamentary majority. Two years later, the RPR leader Jacques Chirac was elected President of France promising to reduce the "social fracture". However, the programme of welfare reforms ("Plan Juppé") proposed by his Prime Minister Alain Juppé caused a social crisis in November and December 1995. The popularity of the executive duo decreased.

In spring 1997, President Chirac tried to take the left-wing opposition by surprise by dissolving the National Assembly. The first opinion polls indicated a re-election of the right-wing majority. The "Plural Left" coalition, composed of the Socialists, the Communists, the Greens, the Citizens' Movement and the Left Radicals, proposed a program of social reforms to reduce unemployment, limiting the length of the work week to 35 hours. Prime Minister Juppé's unpopularity may have made the left's win easier.

In the first round, the left-wing coalition obtained more votes than the incumbent parliamentary majority. After he was blamed for the situation, Juppé announced he would resign even if the right kept their majority in the runoff vote. For all that, the "Plural left" obtained the majority of the seats. However the Socialist Party needed its allies to form a majority. For the first time, the ecologists were represented in the Parliament. The participation of the National Front's candidates in the second round increased the defeat of the "Presidential majority".

This was the first time since 1877 that a President of France lost a legislative election which he had called. The Socialist leader Lionel Jospin became Prime Minister of the third "cohabitation". It finished with the 2002 French presidential election.

Results[edit]


e • d Summary of the 25 May and 1 June 1997 French National Assembly elections results
Parties and coalitions 1st round 2nd round Total seats
Votes % Votes %
Socialist Party (Parti socialiste) PS 5,977,045 23.49 9,722,022 38.20 255
French Communist Party (Parti communiste français) PCF 2,523,405 9.92 921,716 3.62 35
The Greens (Les Verts) 1,738,287 6.83 414,871 1.63 7
Miscellaneous Left DVG 713,082 2.80 543,789 2.14 4
Radical-Socialist Party (Parti radical-socialiste) PRS 389,782 1.53 558,959 2.20 12
Citizens' Movement (Mouvement des citoyens) MDC 263,490 1.04 see DVG see DVG 7
Total "Plural Left" 11,605,091 45.61 12,161,357 47.79 320
Rally for the Republic (Rassemblement pour la République) RPR 3,983,257 15.65 5,714,354 22.46 139
Union for French Democracy (Union pour la démocratie française) UDF 3,617,440 14.22 5,284,203 20.07 112
Miscellaneous Right DVD 1,073,014 4.22 594,862 2.34 0
The Independent Right (La Droite Indépendante) LDI 606,355 2.38 see DVD see DVD 2
Total "Presidential Majority" (Right) 9,280,066 36.50 11,593,419 46.02 253
National Front (Front national) FN 3,800,785 14.94 1,434,854 5.64 1
Far-Left 644,051 2.53 - - 0
Miscellaneous 354,249 1.39  ?  ? 3
Others Far-Right 26,759 0.11 - - 0
Total 25,423,790 100.00 25,189,630 100.00 577
Abstention: 32.09% (1st round); 28.48% (2nd round)
Popular vote (first round)
PS
  
23.53%
RPR
  
15.70%
FN
  
14.94%
UDF
  
14.21%
PCF
  
9.94%
The Greens
  
6.81%
DVD
  
6.59%
DVG
  
2.79%
EXG
  
2.52%
PRS
  
1.44%
Others
  
1.49%

11th Assembly by Parliamentary Group[edit]

Group Members Caucusing Total
  Socialist Group 242 8 250
  RPR Group 136 6 140
  UDF Group 107 6 113
  Communist Group 34 2 36
  Radical, Citizen and Green 33 0 33
  Non-Inscrits 5 0 5
Total: 555 22 577