List of presidents of the Senate of France

The Senate of France is the upper house of the French Parliament. It is presided over by a president. Although there had been Senates in both the First and Second Empires, these had not technically been legislative bodies, but rather advisory bodies on the model of the Roman Senate. France's first experience with an upper house was under the Directory from 1795 to 1799, when the Council of Ancients was the upper chamber. With the Restoration in 1814, a new Chamber of Peers was created, on the model of the British House of Lords. At first it contained hereditary peers, but following the July Revolution of 1830, it became a body to which one was appointed for life. The Second Republic returned to a unicameral system after 1848, but soon after the establishment of the Second Empire in 1852, a Senate was established as the upper chamber. In the Fourth Republic, the Senate was renamed the Council of the Republic, but its function was largely the same. With the new constitution of the Fifth Republic in 1959, the older name of Senate was restored.

Acting President of the French Republic

The President of the Senate, in addition to his duties as presiding officer of the upper house of parliament, is also, according to the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, first in line of succession in case of death or resignation of the president, thus becoming Acting President of the Republic until a new election can be held. This has already occurred twice. Alain Poher, the President of the French Senate, served as Acting President of France from 28 April until 20 June 1969 (between the resignation of President Charles de Gaulle and the installation of his elected successor President Georges Pompidou) and again from 3 April until 27 May 1974 (between the death of President Georges Pompidou and the installation of his elected successor President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing).

List of officeholders

Presidents of the Chamber of Peers (1814–1848)

Portrait Name Took office Left office
Charles-Henri, chevalier Dambray4 June 181420 March 1815
Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès2 June 18157 July 1815
Charles-Henri, chevalier Dambray12 October 181512 December 1829
Claude-Emmanuel, marquis de Pastoret17 December 18293 August 1830
Étienne-Denis Pasquier3 August 183024 February 1848

Presidents of the Senate (1852–1940)

Name Took office Left office Political party
Jérôme Bonaparte 28 January 1852 30 November 1852 Bonapartist
Raymond-Theodore Troplong 30 December 1852 1 March 1869 Bonapartist
Adrien Marie Devienne 3 March 1869 20 July 1869 Bonapartist
Eugène Rouher 20 July 1869 4 September 1870 Bonapartist
Senate abolished 4 September 1870 13 March 1876
Gaston Audiffret-Pasquier 13 March 1876 15 January 1879 Conservative
Louis Martel 15 January 1879 25 May 1880 Conservative
Léon Say 25 May 1880 2 February 1882 Republican
Philippe Le Royer 2 February 1882 24 February 1893 Republican
Jules Ferry 24 February 1893 17 March 1893 Left Republican
Paul-Armand Challemel-Lacour 27 March 1893 16 January 1896 Opportunist Republican
Émile Loubet 16 January 1896 18 February 1899 Left Republican
Armand Fallières 3 March 1899 17 January 1906 Democratic Republican Alliance
Antonin Dubost 16 February 1906 14 January 1920 Democratic Republican Alliance
Léon Bourgeois 14 January 1920 22 February 1923 Radical
Gaston Doumergue 22 February 1923 13 June 1924 Radical
Justin de Selves 19 June 1924 9 January 1927 Radical
Paul Doumer 14 January 1927 13 May 1931 Radical
Albert Lebrun 11 June 1931 10 May 1932 Democratic Alliance
Jules Jeanneney 3 June 1932 9 July 1940 Radical

Presidents of the Council of the Republic (1946–1958)

Political party
  MRP   Radical

Portrait Name Took office Left office Political party
Auguste Champetier de Ribes27 December 19466 March 1947MRP
Gaston Monnerville18 March 19472 October 1958Radical

Presidents of the Senate (1958–present)

Political party
  Radical   CD; CDS; FD   RPR; UMP; LR   PS

Portrait Name Took office Left office Political party
Gaston Monnerville9 December 19582 October 1968Radical
Alain Poher3 October 19681 October 1992CD (until 1976)
CDS (from 1976;
within the UDF from 1978)
René Monory2 October 19921 October 1998CDS (until 1995)
FD (from 1995;
within the UDF)
Christian Poncelet2 October 199830 September 2008RPR (until 2002)
UMP (from 2002)
Gérard Larcher1 October 200830 September 2011UMP
Jean-Pierre Bel1 October 201130 September 2014PS
Gérard Larcher1 October 2014IncumbentUMP (until 2015)
LR (since 2015)
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