Macron wins majority to push through reforms

The head of France's Socialist party has quit after his party suffered a horrendous defeat in the country's parliamentary election.

In a punishment vote due to poor achievements, the outgoing ruling the Socialist Party, lost its lead with only 32 seats.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, the rightwinger chosen by Mr Macron to lead the cabinet, said voters had chosen "hope over misery".

He called on the new majority of lawmakers who were elected Sunday to help the government implement Macron's political agenda.

France's Prime Minister said voters have given a clear majority to Mr Macron and his government. She said although Macon now has a majority in parliament, his ideas are a "minority" and said the Front National will fight his reform plans.

France's youngest leader since Napoleon, Macron emerged from relative obscurity to score a thumping win in the presidential election in May.

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, Europe". The Interior Ministry counted the Republicans and allied candidates with 131 seats, with 33 seats still uncounted.

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

The May 7 election of the Macron, 39, himself untested, upended France's political landscape, a phenomenon that continued with the parliamentary victory of a party that didn't exist 14 months ago.

However, the low voter turnout, and the large numbers of voters who backed candidates from the far right and far left over Macron in the presidential election earlier this year, suggest large swathes of the population have little enthusiasm for such change. A member of the European Parliament since 2004 this is the first time she will sit in the National Assembly, where she will be joined by at least five other FN members - up from a current total tally of two. Polls ahead of the vote had projected Macron could win as many as 470 seats. That was less than some had expected after its crushing victory in last week's first-round vote.

President Macron wants to use his mandate to strip away some employment protections to encourage hiring and to toughen national security in the wake of recent terror attacks.

After Macron's La Republique en Marche party, founded just over a year ago, the second most votes is thought to have gone to the Republicans, with their leader calling the party the country's main opposition.

Official statistics showed turnout at midday down more than three points over the last election in 2012 at 17.75 per cent, revealing a degree of election fatigue.

Melenchon also honed in on the record low turnout, saying: "The French people are now engaged in a sort of civic general strike". Overall, the first-round vote saw record low voter interest, with less than half of France's 47.5 million voters taking part overall.

Compared to 2012 election, the anti-immigration party improved its performance after snatching 6 seats compared to two now, to represent "the only force of resistance to the dilution of France, its social model and identity", according to Le Pen. The populist Le Pen, running for a parliamentary seat to represent her northern bastion around Henin-Beaumont, appears likely to win after scoring 46 percent of the vote in the first round. While Melenchon is known for bold talk, his words underscored worry about an eventual all-powerful Macron who, Melenchon said, "is going to end up believing he walks on water".

We owe it to the drive of the president of the republic to give new life to democracy.

  • Leroy Wright