FLASH -First Polling Results

French Polling Station

Leftist Parties Gain Slight Lead in First Results

by Ric Erickson

SPECIAL:- Paris:- Sunday, 25. May 1997:- 20:00 CET:- At this time state TV France 2 announced the first estimates in today's nationwide voting for the next National Assembly.

There is little difference between these numbers and the latest poll numbers; official or 'inofficial.'

The outgoing majority party is estimated to have received about 37.2 percent of the vote. This is the total for President Chirac's RPR party, the UDF, and various other conservative parties. With this total, this group of right-wing parties could be expected to get from 255 to 275 seats in the National Assembly.

The challenging Socialist Party, lead by Lionel Jospin, scored 29 percent, and this could be good for 250 to 270 seats.

If this is added to the Socialist's partnership with the French Communists Party, which received 9.6 percent in the estimates - worth 15 to 20 seats - then the two parties together, have a slight majority. Their total percent is 38.6 percent and 265 to 290 seats.

The ultra-right Front National polled the expected 14.8 percent; but this would entitled them to a maximum of two seats.

The Greens and Ecologists, polling an estimated 6.2 percent, could get from zero to three seats.

The extreme left polled about 2.1 percent; and this has a potential for gaining no seats in the National Assembly.

Results are still coming from polling districts in overseas territories, but are expected to follow trends within France.

Voting Conditions: Weather

After weeks of see-saw weather, this Sunday has been absolutely perfect. Cloudless skies, little wind and moderate temperatures - might have tempted some voters to head for the countryside and beaches for the day.

Abstentions

Globally, registered voters who declined to vote are estimated at 31.7 percent. This is less than was expected, but about one percent more than in the last first round of legislative elections in 1993.

French Election Web Sites

France 2 TV Extensive coverage, including latest results from election day balloting.

Radio France International Basic coverage in French also features audio files.

The newspaper Libération's own Web site - also featured on Metropole's 'Links' page in every issue.


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