Open Access Articles- Top Results for French legislative election, 1993

French legislative election, 1993

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French legislative elections took place on 21 and 28 March 1993 to elect the 10th National Assembly of the Fifth Republic.

Since 1988, President François Mitterrand and his Socialist cabinets had relied on a relative parliamentary majority. In an attempt to avoid having to work with the Communists, Prime Minister Michel Rocard tried to gain support from the UDF by appointing four UDF ministers. After the UDF withdrew its support for the government in 1991, Rocard and the UDF ministers resigned. The UDF then became allied with the Gaullist Rally for the Republic (RPR).

The Socialist Party (PS) was further weakened by scandals (involving illicit financing, contaminated blood and other affairs) and an intense rivalry between François Mitterrand's potential successors (Lionel Jospin and Laurent Fabius). In March 1992, the Socialists were punished at the local elections. Prime Minister Edith Cresson was replaced by Pierre Bérégovoy. The latter promised to struggle against economic recession and corruption, but he was himself suspected to have received a loan from a controversial businessman, Roger-Patrice Pelat.

The election was a landslide victory for the RPR-UDF alliance, while the PS and their left-wing allies received their worst result since the 1960s. The PS lost nearly 80% of the seats they had held at the time of the chamber's dissolution. This caused a crisis within the PS; Fabius lost his position as First Secretary in favour of Rocard, who claimed that a political "big bang" was needed. Jospin announced his political retirement after he was defeated in his Haute-Garonne constituency. Depressed by the defeat and the accusations about the loan from Pelat, Pierre Bérégovoy committed suicide on 1 May.

Some traditional PS voters had voted for the Greens in the first round. These ecologists obtained a total of 10.84%, making this the best total score for French Green parties in legislative elections. However, only two ecologists qualified for the runoff, including Dominique Voynet in her constituency in the Doubs département. Both of these candidates were eventually defeated. Lack of major political allies for these ecologists explained this failure to take any seats.

The RPR-UDF coalition formed the largest parliamentary majority since 1958, taking a total of 485 seats or 84% of the 577 seats. The RPR leader Jacques Chirac demanded President Mitterrand's resignation and refused to be Prime Minister in a new "cohabitation" government. Finally, he suggested the nomination of his former RPR Finance Minister Edouard Balladur at the head of the government. Balladur promised publicly that he would not run against Chirac for the next presidential election. The second "cohabitation" finished with the 1995 presidential election.


Composition of seats of each political party in the French National Assembly following the 1993 election
Map showing the results of the second round

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Parties and coalitions 1st round 2nd round Total seats
Votes % Votes %
Rally for the Republic (Rassemblement pour la République) RPR 5,032,496 20.08 5,741,629 28.99 242
Union for French Democracy (Union pour la démocratie française) UDF 4,731,013 18.71 5,178,039 26.14 207
Miscellaneous Right DVD 1,118,032 4.46 588,455 2.97 36
Total "Union for France" (Right) 10,881,541 43.25 11,508,123 58.01 485
Socialist Party (Parti socialiste) PS 4,415,495 17.61 6,143,179 31.01 53
French Communist Party (Parti communiste français) PCF 2,331,339 9.30 951,213 4.80 24
Miscellaneous Left including the Movement of Left Radicals (Mouvement des radicaux de gauche) DVG-MRG 693,945 2.77 unknown unknown 14
Total Left ("Presidential Majority" and PCF) 7,440,779 29.68 7,094,392 35.81 91
The Greens(Les Verts) VEC 1,022,196 4.08 37,491 0.19 -
Ecology Generation (Génération Écologie) GE 917,228 3.66 - - -
New Ecology (Nouvelle Écologie) GE 635,244 2.53 - - -
Ecologists 141,645 0.57 - - -
Total Ecologists 2,716,313 11.00 37,491 0.19 0
National Front (Front national) FN 3,152,543 12.58 1,168,160 5.90 1
Far-Left 423,282 1.69 - - -
Miscellaneous 329,275 1.31 - - -
Nationalist right and Eurosceptics 70,920 0.28 - - -
Far-right 35,411 0.14 - - -
Regionalists 35,411 0.14 - - -
Total 25,378,158 100.00 20,616,533 100.00 577
Abstention: 31.08% (1st round); 32.44% (2nd round)
Popular vote (first round)
Incumbent Department Incumbent Party Elected Party
Michel Rocard Yvelines PS UDF
Lionel Jospin Haute-Garonne PS UDF
Pierre Bérégovoy Nièvre PS
Jack Lang Loir-et-Cher PS
Roland Dumas Dordogne PS RPR
Michel Delebarre Nord PS DVG
Bernard Tapie Bouches-du-Rhône MRG
Dominique Strauss-Kahn Val-d'Oise PS RPR
François Hollande Corrèze PS RPR
Alain Juppé Paris RPR
Edouard Balladur Paris RPR
Jacques Chirac Corrèze RPR

10th Assembly by Parliamentary Group

Group Members Caucusing Total
  RPR Group 245 12 257
  UDF Group 213 2 215
  Socialist Group 52 5 57
  Republic and Liberty Group 23 0 23
  Communist Group 22 1 23
  Non-Inscrits 2 0 2
Total: 557 20 577