News / Europe

French Left Surges Ahead in Legislative Elections

French President Francois Hollande reacts after leaving a restaurant in Tulle, central France, June 10, 2012.
French President Francois Hollande reacts after leaving a restaurant in Tulle, central France, June 10, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Bryant
PARIS -  France's left surged ahead in the first round of legislative elections on Sunday. Initial results showed leftist parties capturing 47.1 percent of the vote, compared to 35.4 percent for the center right. But France's new Socialist President Francois Hollande is not assured of an absolute majority in parliament. 

 

The French left hailed its gains in the first round of legislative voting Sunday. Socialist Party head Martine Aubry said it signaled a call for change on the part of the country's electorate. 

 

Speaking on TV, Aubrey said the left's score was much higher than during the last legislative elections, in 2007. But she warned that nothing was certain, and urged French to vote in the runoffs next Sunday. 

 

With voter turnout at less than 60 percent in this first round, the center-right UMP party delivered the same "get-out-the" vote" message. 

 

Also speaking on French TV, UMP head Jean-Francois Cope put a positive spin on the right's score. He said many French are worried that President Francois Hollande will increase taxes and roll back the fight against crime. 

 

The country's new Socialist leader is hoping for a clear-cut majority in the lower house to push through a series of economic and social reforms. For its part, the right is hoping to staunch the leftist wave that toppled former President Nicolas Sarkozy in last month's presidential elections. 

 

In interviews on Sunday, French voters expressed wide-ranging concerns, ranging from the state of the economy to the eurozone crisis. 

 

In the Paris suburb of Neuilly Plaisance, Eric Manfredi, who teaches public law, cast his vote for the Greens Party. 

 

"I believe ecological issues are the biggest issues of the next century. And we've got to fight for it," he said. 

 

French voters head back to the polls next Sunday for the second and final round of voting.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid