French legislative election, 1968

French legislative election, 1968
23 June and 30 June 1968

All 487 seats to the French National Assembly
244 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
Leader Georges Pompidou François Mitterrand
Leader's seat Cantal-2nd Nièvre-3rd
Last election 243 seats 117 seats
Seats won 354* 57
Seat change Increase 111 Decrease 60
Popular vote 9,667,532 (1st round)
6,762,170 (2nd round)
3,660,250 (1st round)
2,935,775 (2nd round)
Percentage 43.65% (1st round)
46.39% (2nd round)
16.53% (1st round)
20.14% (2nd round)

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Waldeck Rochet Camille Laurens (NCIP),
Jean Lecanuet (CD, above)
Party PCF Progress and Modern Democracy
Leader's seat Seine-Saint-Denis Seine-Maritime (Lecanuet, as Senator)
Last election 73 seats 41 seats (CD)
Seats won 34 33
Seat change Decrease 39 Decrease 11
Popular vote 4,434,832 (1st round)
2,935,775 (2nd round)
2,289,849 (1st round)
1,141,305 (2nd round)
Percentage 20.02% (1st round)
20.14% (2nd round)
10.34% (1st round)
7.83% (2nd round)

* Including Independent Republicans.

PM before election

Georges Pompidou

Elected PM

Maurice Couve de Murville

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French legislative elections took place on 23 and 30 June 1968 to elect the fourth French National Assembly of the Fifth Republic. They were held in the aftermath of the events of May 1968. On 30 May 1968, in a radio speech, President Charles de Gaulle, who had been out of the public eye for three days (he was in Baden-Baden, Germany), announced the dissolution of the National Assembly, and a new legislative election, by way of restoring order.

While the workers went back to their jobs, Prime Minister Georges Pompidou campaigned for the "defence of the Republic" in the face of the "communist threat" and called for the "silent majority" to make themselves heard. The Left was divided. The Communists reproached the Federation of the Democratic and Socialist Left (FGDS) leader François Mitterrand for not having consulted it before he announced his candidacy in the next presidential election, and for the formation of a provisional government led by Pierre Mendès-France. The Far-Left and the Unified Socialist Party protested against the passivity of the left-wing parties. The Gaullist Union for the Defence of the Republic became the first party in the French Republic's history to obtain an absolute parliamentary majority. The FGDS disintegrated.

However, the relation between the two heads of the executive power had deteriorated during the crisis. One month later, Georges Pompidou resigned and was replaced by Maurice Couve de Murville.


Parties and coalitions 1st round 2nd round Total seats
Votes % Votes %
Union for the Defense of the Republic (Union pour la défense de la République) - Independent Republicans (Républicains indépendants) UDR-RI 9,667,532 43.65 6,762,170 46.39 354
  • 293
  • 61
Progress and Modern Democracy (Progrès et démocratie moderne) PDM 2,289,849 10.34 1,141,305 7.83 33
Miscellaneous Right DVD 917,758 4.14 496,463 3.41 9
Total Right ("Presidential Majority" and PDM) 12,875,139 58.13 8,399,938 57.62 396
French Communist Party (Parti communiste français) PCF 4,434,832 20.02 2,935,775 20.14 34
Federation of the Democratic and Socialist Left (Fédération de la gauche démocrate et socialiste) FGDS 3,660,250 16.53 3,097,338 21.25 57
Unified Socialist Party (Parti socialiste unifié) PSU 1,037,063 4.29 144,361 0.99 -
Total Left 9,132,145 40.84 6,177,474 42.38 91
Miscellaneous 111,195 0.50 - - -
Republican Alliance for the Progress and Liberties (Alliance républicaine pour le progrès et les libertés) ARPL 28,736 0.13 - - -
Total 23,751,213 100.00 14,577,412 100.00 487
Abstention: 20.04% (1st round); 22.17% (2nd round)
Popular vote (first round)

4th National Assembly by Parliamentary Group

Group Members Caucusing Total
  UDR Group 270 23 293
  Independent Republicans Group 57 4 61
  FGDS Group 57 0 57
  Communist Group 33 1 34
  Progress and Modern Democracy Group 30 3 33
  Non-Inscrits 9 0 9
Total: 456 31 487
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