The key number to watch as returns come in is 289 — that’s the number of seats that President François Hollande’s Parti socialiste (and its allies) will need in order to hold an absolute majority in the Assemblée nationale. In the first round last Sunday, the Parti socialiste won 29% to just 27% for the center-right’s Union pour un mouvement populaire — the broad left expected to line up behind Hollande, however, received almost 47% of the vote. As such, it is expected that the French left will command a majority of the seats after Sunday’s runoff — the question is whether the Socialists will need to govern in coalition with France’s Green Party (Europe Écologie – Les Verts), with which the Parti socialiste has an electoral pact or, more broadly, with the far-left Front de gauche.
But there are many individual races worth watching as well. So without further ado, here are 15 races to keep an eye on: Continue reading Fifteen key seats to watch in Sunday’s final French parliamentary runoffs