French President Macron wins parliamentary election

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 19, 2017

French voters on returned to the polls on Sunday for the second round of a parliamentary election, which President Emmanuel Macron's youthful party is tipped to win by a landslide, completing his reset of national politics.

Polls show Macron's party party crushing France's traditional parties, the rightwing Republicans and Socialists, but also the far-right National Front of defeated presidential candidate Marine Le Pen which faces major disappointment. However, the Republicans would not pose any threat to Macron's governance.

"You can not leave the prospects for the assembly as they stand - our country needs an opposition to function", National Front leader Marine Le Pen has warned.

Jean-Luc Melenchon's far-left La France insoumise (Unbowed France) party and its Communist supporters are expected to hold 30 seats. Macron's party, which didn't exist 14 months ago and offered novice candidates from civilian life, has drawn from left and right to fill its ranks, effectively blurring the traditional left-right political divide.

Socialist party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis says that President "Emmanuel Macron's triumph is uncontestable, the defeat of the left is unavoidable, and the defeat of the Socialist party is irrevocable". Macrons 14-month-old party appears set to win a huge majority in parliamentary elections Sunday, June 18, 2017 meeting one of his most emblematic campaign promises: to bring new faces into politics.

Mr Macron was previously economy minister in his predecessor's government, but quit the job and resigned his party's whip to launch a bid for the presidency.

With its allies, the Socialists could get fewer than 50 seats, projections showed.

But the results were tempered by a record low turnout of around 43%. At the end of the afternoon, turnout stood at only 35 percent - below last week's record low.

The German Foreign Ministry quoted Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Twitter as saying that "the road is clear for reforms, in France and in Europe".

While French voters have handed past presidents large majorities in parliament, what's different this time is that Macron's party is splitting - and therefore weakening - the opposition.

Abstention is partly blamed on voter fatigue as voters have casts their ballots in two parties' primaries in the last eight months.

That would allow him to move ahead quickly with promised legislation, including over changing labour laws to make hiring and firing easier. The far-right National Front are also expected to have minor presence despite their strong showing in the presidential contest.

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