Large majority for Macron in French parliament

Posted June 28, 2017

TRT World's Sarah Morice explains how Sunday's results give the president a strong mandate in parliament to pursue his pro-EU, business-friendly reform plans.

A coalition formed of Macron's Republic on the Move party and the older centrist group Modem took 350 out of the French National Assembly's 577 seats-lower than the 400 some analysts had predicted but still a remarkable showing given Macron's movement was founded just a year ago.

Macron's triumph brings a shift in France's political landscape, sweeping aside the mainstream parties that had once alternated in power. "The president of the Republic has all the powers", Jean-Christophe Cambadelis said late on Sunday after announcing he would step down as party chief.

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) poses with people on arriving to vote in the second round of the French legislative elections at the City Hall in Le Touquet, France, 18 June 2017.

REM routed the Socialists and heavily defeated the rightwing Republicans, while Le Pen's National Front (FN) had a disappointing night.

Ms Le Pen entered parliament for the first time in her career in one of eight seats won by the FN, but the party fell well short of its 15-seat target.

"Macron's overwhelming majority should confirm already constructive sentiment", Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

But he may face criticism over turnout; just under 45 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in the election's second round, the lowest in modern French history.

NDP, Greens vote against their political goals in favour of defeating Liberals
Make no mistake-it was the loathing of Clark, more than anything else, that put her party on the verge of being in opposition. Green Leader Andrew Weaver appealed in a statement for the Liberals to provide a Speaker to a future NDP government.

"Far from postures, our members of parliament, through their multiple experiences, will vote for laws to unlock our economy, free up our energies, create new solidarities and protect the French", she said.

The conservative Republicans and their allies could form a large opposition block, with 125-131 seats.

Numerous party's new recruits are political unknowns, and Mr Philippe has attributed their election to a public appetite for new faces in parliament.

"Massive abstention considerably weakens the legitimacy of the new National Assembly and this five-year presidency starts with pretty bad foundations", said National Front leader, Marine Le Pen. Opinion polls before the vote had projected Macron could win as many as 470 seats.

The spokesman, Steffen Seibert, hailed the strong showing for Macron's year-old Republic on the Move (REM) in a tweet, adding that Merkel wished for "further good cooperation for Germany, France, and Europe".

A record number of women were elected to parliament - 223, or 38.65%, with the highest numbers among the centrists and hard-left.

USA and European stocks hit fresh highs buoyed by a convincing National Assembly victory for French president Emmanuel Macron and strong gains across a range of sectors.

"It is France Unbowed which will call the country, when the moment comes, to social resistance", Melenchon said.