How does France's lower house National Assembly work?

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for snap legislative elections, with the two rounds set to take place on June 30 and July 7. But what is the role of those elected to the lower house National Assembly?

A French MP is elected by universal suffrage in any given constituency, defined as a territorial division of 125,000 inhabitants, although he or she represents the nation as a whole and serves the general interest.

A candidate can win in the first round by garnering 50% of votes cast if turnout represents at least 25% of the constituency's registered voters.

In the case of a second round, anyone winning at least 12.5% of voters may stand; it is therefore possible to see three or four candidates competing. A candidate may withdraw between the first and second rounds, which is usually done to throw votes to another candidate.

If no candidate garners the 12.5% required, the top two candidates compete in a second round.

Terms of office

The 577 deputies at the lower house National Assembly are elected for renewable five-year terms, with no limit on the number of terms they may serve. An MP must be a member of one of the National Assembly's eight standing committees (Law, Social Affairs, etc.), which draft legislation before it is debated in session.

While many serving French politicians hold two posts at once, certain offices cannot be held concurrently while serving as an MP including mayor, president or vice-president of regional or departmental councils, member of the European Parliament, senator or member of the Constitutional Council (France's top constitutional court).

Controlling the government

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
France's dissolution of parliament, snap elections: What happens next?
Macron says he called snap elections to prevent rise of far right in 2027 presidential vote
Raphaël Glucksmann, the man who revived France’s centre-left