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Parliament name (generic / translated) Parlement / Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 26 September 2004
Timing and scope of renewal Elections were held for one-third of the seats in the Senate on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
On 26 September 2004 nearly 52 000 grands électeurs voted to fill a third of the seats in the French Senate. At stake were the 127 seats that were up for election in Group C and one which had been left vacant following the resignation of a female senator from the Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP) party. French senators are elected indirectly by the country's grands électeurs who are elected officials such as deputies senators and regional general and municipal councillors.

On 30 July 2003 a law had updated the distribution of Senate seats taking into consideration the 1999 census results. It had called for the addition of 25 seats with 10 to be added in 2004 another 10 in 2007 and five in 2010.

As a result of this vote the UMP the largest of the parties on the right lost its absolute majority with a net loss of eight seats leaving it with 154 of the 331 seats in the new Senate. Parties on the left had a net gain of 13 seats (giving them a total of 128 out of 331). The Socialist Party (PS) was the big winner as it gained nine seats bringing the number of socialists in the Senate to 91. The Greens gained three seats and the Communist Party gained two. The parties on the right nevertheless maintained their overall majority.

Of the 128 seats that were up for election 71 were filled by newcomers.

On 1 October 2004 Mr. Christian Poncelet was re-elected as President of the Senate for a new three-year term.

Voter turnout
Round no 126 September 2004
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
51'485 (99.12%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Union for the people's movement 44.10
Socialist Party (PS) 23.60
Union for French Democracy (UDF) 9.40
Communist Party (PC) 8.70
Other parties of the right 5.50
Other left wing parties 3.90
Green Party 2.40
Left Radical 1.60
Others 0.80
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Union for the people's movement 56
Socialist Party (PS) 30
Union for French Democracy (UDF) 12
Communist Party (PC) 11
Other parties of the right 7
Other left wing parties 5
Green Party 3
Left Radical 2
Others 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
31 to 40 years
41 to 50 years
51 to 60 years
61 to 70 years
Over 70 years
Distribution of seats according to profession
Educators 85
Salaried employees 54
Civil servants (incl. former) 47
Legal and other professionals 42
Medical professions 31
Agriculturists 29
Business/Trade/Industry 23
Unemployed 20
Source: Fench Senate (www.senat.fr) Last updated: 01 March 2005

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