Macron's new party wins majority in parliamentary elections

Elias Hubbard
June 19, 2017

Exit polls in France show President Emmanuel Macron has won a commanding parliamentary majority after Sunday's election.

Of the 577 seat, La Republique en Marche is expected to win a clear majority, leading the way for Macron to easily implement his planned reforms.

The conservative Republicans and their allies are in second place with 124 seats, according to the ministry figures.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the first to congratulate Macron. "This majority will be united behind the government to put the president's program into action". Altmaier added: "Good for Europe and for Germany!" "The president of the Republic has all the powers", Jean-Christophe Cambadelis said after announcing he would step down as Socialist Party chief. He said the Socialist party needed to change its ideas and its organization and that a "collective leadership" would replace him.

Francois Baroin, who led the Republicans' campaign, said the conservatives would emphasise their differences with Macron, especially on taxes.

"We are the only force of resistance to the watering down of France, of its social model and its identity", she said defiantly. "One year ago no one would have imagined such a political renewal", Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said in a statement. They started arriving at the National Assembly on Monday to learn their way around before the first session of parliament next week.

Le Pen said her party's lawmakers will "fight with all necessary means the harmful projects of the government".

The vote comes just a month after 39-year-old Macron, a former banker, became the youngest head of state in modern French history, promising to clean up French politics and revive the euro zone's second-biggest economy.

Many candidates in his party joined only after Macron won the presidency in May. It is a largely symbolic move required after legislative elections. Three pollsters projected turnout to be at 42-43 percent at the close of polling, a record low in the post-war Fifth Republic. We owe it to the drive of the president of the republic to give new life to democracy. By midday Sunday, only 17.75 percent of voters had cast a ballot, down from the 21.41 percent recorded at the same time of day during the 2012 parliamentary run-off vote. This was a lower turnout than the first round of voting on June 11, in which 48.7 percent of the electorate came out to vote. Overall, the first-round vote saw record low voter interest, with less than half of France's 47.5 million voters taking part overall.

Some voters seemed excited by a victory for Macron's party, while others were frustrated.

Macron's rivals have urged voters not to stay at home, warning power could be too concentrated in the hands of one party and democratic debate stifled.

The Socialist Party, which ruled France until last month, faces a humiliating defeat, which could see them with no more than 25 to 35 seats.

The National Front had two seats in the outgoing parliament and the only lawmaker seeking to renew his mandate, Gilbert Collard running in the southern Gard region, could lose.

Ultra-leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon, who Mr Macron also defeated in the presidential vote, said he won in his Marseille district. When speaking of voter turnout, Dzhabarov said that the French people seemed to have grown exhausted of elections and politics in general.

The person with the most votes Sunday earns a seat in the National Assembly.

That would allow Macron to move fast with promised legislation, notably on changing labor laws to make hiring and firing easier.

The voting system punishes parties outside the mainstream, or with no mainstream allies, like Le Pen's National Front.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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