Macron to announce new government line-up

In what has truly been a grand slam of electoral success, French President Emmanuel Macron's party En Marche! has won a commanding majority in parliamentary polls. Given his pro-EU rhetoric, his success could translate into success for the rest of the European Union and perhaps more specifically the Eurozone.

Macron's year-old Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move, REM) and their allies were set to win between 350 and 361 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly, based on partial results after the second round of an election which has eliminated many high-profile figures. It is now done: Louis Aliot and Marine Le Pen were both elected in the legislative elections.

The party of former president François Hollande lost about 200 seats, leaving them with around 46, and the conservative Republicans ended up with about 115 seats. Party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis announced his resignation, adding that "Macron's triumph is uncontestable", France24 reported.

"For the first time in the Fifth Republic, there will be a profound renewal of the National Assembly".

Valls, a centrist member of the Socialist Party who a year ago in a speech called anti-Zionism a form of anti-Semitism and who in 2009 said he has an "eternal bond" with the Jewish people because of his marriage to a Jewish woman, narrowly beat the far-left politician Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has been accused of espousing anti-Semitic rhetoric in speeches, in the Essone region in northern France.

Macron's detractors point to a record-low turnout of just under 44 per cent in yesterday's polling, saying he can not claim to enjoy a deep vein of support. 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. For a party that has been in power for the past five years, this is a very sorry state of affairs indeed.

Macron, who won the presidency in May with just over 65 percent of the vote on pledges to overhaul France's economy and labor market and clean up public life, has a packed agenda ahead. For the first time, a record number, a total of 223 women have been elected deputies.

Last year Denis Baupin resigned as vice president of the National Assembly after being accused of sexual harassment by fellow politicians.

France24 points out that the record level of abstention underscored the widespread election fatigue accumulated over more than 12 months of incessant campaigning, successive primaries, and a two-round presidential election.

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".

The scale of LREM's projected win means Macron will enjoy an absolute majority even without the support of alliance partner Francois Bayrou and Modem, lending him a freer hand for reforms and room for a government reshuffle should he choose to carry one out.

  • Leroy Wright