The party of French president Emmanuel Macron looks set for an overwhelming majority after the second and final round of voting in the country’s parliamentary election.
Republic on the Move boasts scores of political newcomers – unprecedented in France and central to Macron’s promise to clean up the country’s politics.
The result, based on official figures and pollster projections, redraws France’s political landscape, humiliating the Socialist and conservative parties that alternated in power for decades until Macron’s election in May.
Three pollsters projected that Macron’s Republic on the Move (LREM) and its Modem allies would win 355 to 365 seats in the 577-seat lower house, fewer than previously forecast.
They predicted the conservative Republicans and their allies would form the largest opposition bloc with 125 to 131 seats, while the Socialist Party, in power for the past five years, and its partners would secure 41 to 49 seats, their lowest ever in the postwar Fifth Republic.
Official figures with 90 seats still left to be decided showed LREM had already won its majority.
POLITICO (@politico) June 18, 2017
But the vote was been marred by what’s likely to be a record high level of absenteeism, a fact lamented by Macron’s prime minister Edouard Phillppe, who nonetheless hailed what he called a political revolution.
“A year ago no-one even imagine such a political renewal. It’s all down to the will of the President, he’s breathed fresh air into our democracy and we the French wanted to give a new look to our national parliament,” he said. “Absenteeism is never a good thing for democracy and it’s multiple causes are for everyone to analyse. The government will see it as an obligation to succeed. The electorate has put its trust in us and we have to honour that and come up with tangible results,” added Philippe.
Macron’s critics say his army of lawmakers will serve simply as yes men, giving the 39-year-old president a strong mandate to pursue his ambitious pro-EU, business-friendly reform plans.