Monday, July 08, 2024

France Defeats the Far-Right

two maps of France comparing winners in the first and second round votes
first round (left) and second round (right) election results

The left of center New Popular Front has emerged as the most popular party after France's second round of voting in its national parliamentary election. Le Pen's National Rally party has fallen from its first round triumph to a third placed position, behind both the New Popular Front and President Macron's center-right coalition. 

Comparing Le Monde's second round election map with the national picture after the first round of elections reveals the scale in the drop in support for Le Pen's National Rally party when the voters were given a clear choice between a far-right candidate and a candidate from the center-left or center-right. The brown of the National Rally (in the map's above) is far less prominent after the second and final round of voting, particularly when you consider that the scale of the National Rally's support is skewed on Le Monde's election map by its popularity in the geographically larger rural election areas.

map of France showing where the National Rally won seats

Le Parisien's second round results map includes controls which allow you to filter the results by party. The map of National Rally's winning seats (shown in blue in the map above) reveals that the far-right party swept nearly all of the seats on the Mediterranean coast and that the party also has a lot of regional support in the north-east of the country. 

Interestingly every UK election map I saw after Thursday's election included a hexmap cartogram view and none of the French election maps I've seen have offered anything over than a strict geographical view. Providing an equal representation view of electoral areas, for example by using a hexmap layer is one way of ensuring that every electoral district is given equal visual weight, regardless of its geographic size.

two maps of France's 2024 European election results, one geographical and the other a proportional symbol map

After the success of the National Rally in the French European elections in June Neocarto did create a map which used proportional symbols to try and give more of an equal visual weight to the different sized electoral areas. The comparison above of the geographical view of the results1 with a proportional symbol map shows how a strictly geographical electoral map can skew the visual picture. The proportional symbol map (on the right) shows in red the areas where the New Popular Front's combined votes could have won in the European elections. 

Not only did the Neocarto proportional symbol map show a more balanced picture it also hinted at how the unification of left-wing parties after the European elections in the New Popular Front (NFP) provided a clear challenge to the supremacy of the RN in many electoral constituencies. It will be interesting to see if Neocarto creates a similar proportional symbol map for France's parliamentary election results.

1. these maps don't show the actual European election results but how the results would have looked had the left-wing parties  already joined together into the New Popular Front. The New Popular Front was formed on the 10th June, in response to the electoral success of the National Rally in the European elections on the 9th June. 

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