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date: 27 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Overall, elections in France take place in a two-round system (with the exception of the European elections), and although each different electoral arena has its own particular procedures, most promote majoritarian principles. This chapter analyzes the electoral system of the French Fifth Republic by focusing on the operation of these rules in the larger political context: including the interaction between the rules, the party system, and the main political actors that compete in them. It shows that the two-round majoritarian system has proven remarkably stable and has managed to survive both internal (a quick detour to proportional representation in 1986) and external challenges (rise of new parties, EU common rules on proportional representation).

Keywords: France, two-round ballot, stability, bipolar multipartism, party system, specialized party-strategies

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