Departmental elections and the changing landscape of French politics

James Shields*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The departmental elections of March 2015 redrew the French political landscape, setting the new terms of electoral competition in advance of the regional elections of December 2015 and, more critically, the presidential election of April–May 2017. These elections saw the far-right National Front (FN) come top in both rounds only to be outmanoeuvred by the mainstream parties and prevented from winning a single department. As a case study in vote–seat distortion, the elections highlighted a voting system effective in keeping the FN out of executive power but deficient in terms of democratic representation and inadequate as a response to the new tripartite realities of France's changing political landscape.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 395-406
Number of pages12
JournalRegional and federal studies
Issue number3
Early online date14 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Regional & Federal Studies on 14/3/16, available online:


  • France
  • departmental elections
  • French elections
  • National Front (FN)
  • voting system
  • political parties


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