French President Emmanuel Macron is on course to win a second landslide victory, this time in parliamentary elections. A month ago his party, La République En Marche, had not a single MP to its name, but as the first round of voting drew to a close, that looked set to change dramatically.
En Marche has taken nearly one-third of the vote (32.2%) in the first round, enough to propel most of its candidates through to the next stage.
Closest rivals Les Républicains are predicted to poll 21.5%, with the socialists trailing miserably at 10.2%.
En Marche needs a minimum of 289 of the 577 National Assembly seats to push its programme through.
Pollsters are predicting that it will win between 390 and 430 seats in the second round next week. But with an abstention rate of about 50% Macron’s critics have been quick to question the strength of the public’s enthusiam for their new President’s agenda.
Barely 50% participated in French legislative elections today. Puts things into perspective – British democracy is healthy indeed— Charlotte Kude (@CharlotteKude) June 11, 2017
Reacting to the results, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said:
“France is back. For a month now, the President has been a symbol of confidence, drive and audacity, both in France and on the international stage… In the large abstentions seen this Sunday, I see the consequences of the standing down of certain political parties, which have been unable to regroup after losing the presidential election. I also see the effect of the demobilisation of a section of the electorate, for whom the election of the President represented the conclusion of the debate.”
With abstentions running at 50% in the first round, En Marche is taking nothing for granted, however, urging voters to turn out in droves to support its candidates next week.