Living France - - The Essentials -

Pres­i­den­tial elec­tions (ev­ery five years) – a two-round, first-past-the-post sys­tem, although a can­di­date can be suc­cess­ful in the first round should they achieve an ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity. Only the two high­est-scor­ing can­di­dates are put for­ward for a head-to head vote in the sec­ond round, held two weeks later.

• Leg­isla­tive or gen­eral elec­tions (ev­ery five years) – also a two-round, first-past-the-post sys­tem. Can­di­dates must achieve 12.5% of the vote to pro­ceed to the sec­ond round, in which the can­di­date re­ceiv­ing the high­est vote takes the con­stituency seat in the Na­tional As­sem­bly.

• Re­gional elec­tions (ev­ery six years) – held to elect mem­bers to the re­gional coun­cils ( as­sem­blées ré­gionales), these elec­tions com­bine a first-past-the-post and pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion sys­tem. The pub­lic votes for a list of can­di­dates. Should a list win ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity, its can­di­dates take the ma­jor­ity of seats and the rest are dis­trib­uted pro­por­tion­ally be­tween lists achiev­ing at least 5% of the vote. If it goes to a sec­ond vote, only lists gain­ing 10% or more of the vote are in­cluded – the win­ning list then takes a quar­ter of the seats, and the re­main­ing seats are pro­por­tion­ally dis­trib­uted to lists tak­ing at least 5% of the vote.

• Mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions (ev­ery six years) – held to elect the mayor and the mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil ( con­seil mu­nic­i­pal). Res­i­dents vote for a com­plete list of can­di­dates, com­pris­ing an equal num­ber of men and women. The head of the list is the pro­posed new mayor; any num­ber of lists can be sub­mit­ted for the elec­tion. In com­mu­ni­ties with fewer than 1,000 in­hab­i­tants, in­di­vid­ual can­di­dates and in­com­plete lists can be put for­ward. The vot­ing sys­tem is sim­i­lar to that of re­gional elec­tions.

• Euro­pean elec­tions (held ev­ery five years) – the French peo­ple vote for France’s MEPs via a sin­gle bal­lot, pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion sys­tem. Par­ties or coali­tions put to­gether a closed list of can­di­dates with an equal num­ber of men and women, and seats are al­lo­cated ac­cord­ing to the per­cent­age of votes scored by each list.

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