On Sunday in France there were elections to renew half of the Senate, and as expected the right maintained its majority. In the elections there were votes to elect 170 new senators out of the 378 total in the various departments into which the country is divided: the right-wing Les Républicains had 145 seats in the Senate and its center allies 57. With the counting almost complete, 151 seats are controlled by the right and 77 by its centrist allies. The renewal of the Senate takes place every three years by indirect universal suffrage, i.e. the electors vote, mostly made up of local administrators: municipal, departmental and regional councilors elected in the last administrative elections. The right has maintained a majority in the Senate since the beginning of the Fifth Republic in 1958 (the only exception was a period of Socialist majority between 2011 and 2014).
The electoral campaign for the Senate elections was widely followed by the French press, above all because after a very difficult year for the majority the vote was considered an important indication of preferences at a national, rather than local, level. Furthermore, the Senate plays a fundamental role in the parliamentary strategy of Emmanuel Macron’s government, which has lost the absolute majority in the National Assembly (the lower house).
– Read also: The importance of the French Senate