In the 1945 elections the Communist Party became the strongest political group in France when it won 25 per cent of the vote. The following year the party entered the government with Maurice Thorez as deputy prime minister. spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk
They currently hold 21 seats in the French National Assembly.
The National Assembly consists of 577 members known as députés (deputies), each elected by a single-member constituency. It is presided over by a President (currently Jean-Louis Debré. The term of the National Assembly is at most five years. The President of France may dissolve the Assembly (ie: call new election), except if he already dissolved it in the preceding year.
The official seat of the National Assembly is the Palais Bourbon on the banks of the river Seine. It is guarded by Republican Guards.
The last legislative elections, held in June 2002 resulted in the following distribution of seats:
357 Union for a Presidential Majority
140 Socialist Party
29 Union for a Democratic France
21 Communist Party of France
7 Left Radical Party