French Politics

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 21–41

Four rounds in a row: The impact of presidential election outcomes on legislative elections in France

Original Article


This article focuses on the consequences of presidential election outcomes on legislative election results in the context of the French semi-presidential regime. Through an analysis based on aggregated national- and constituency-level data, it shows that presidential elections do have an impact on legislative elections. Furthermore, this impact is proven to affect the balance between presidential majority and opposition coalitions and between core and fringe parties. The 2000 and 2002 reforms aligning presidential and National Assembly mandates and instituting a situation of repeated honeymoon elections significantly decrease the likelihood of any future period of cohabitation between a president and an Assembly from opposing partisan coalitions. They also foster presidentialization and explain the relative decrease in fragmentation within the party system.


election timing France electoral cycle honeymoon/midterm elections semi-presidentialism 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sciences Po – CEVIPOFParisFrance
  2. 2.Sciences Po – CEEParisFrance

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