In senatorial elections, the members of the Senate are elected by indirect universal suffrage by an electoral college in each department made up of deputies, general councillors, regional councillors and representatives of the municipal councils. Senators are elected for a nine-year term, with one third of their number replaced every three years.
The Senate has 348 senators affiliated with the following groups since the October 2011 election:
Socialist group and Europe Ecologie les Verts: 140
Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) group: 132
Union centriste group: 31
Communiste, républicain et citoyen group: 21
Rassemblement Démocratique et Social Européen (RDSE) group: 17
For more information : www.senat.fr.