Macron party marches to clear majority
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 23, 2017,
Jun 23, 2017, 19:25
The result means Macron has a majority in the Parliament and will find it easier to push through a potentially controversial program that includes changes to French labor laws and reductions in public spending.
Macron's triumph brings a shift in France's political landscape, sweeping aside the mainstream parties that had once alternated in power.
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.
A woman walks past official posters of candidates for the 2017 French presidential election.
France's CAC 40 stock market index was more than 1% higher, or 56.3 points at 5320, after Macron's fledgling en Marche party won 308 out of 507 seats with 43% of the vote.
The far-right leader was elected in the northern town of Henin- Beaumont but her joy at finally making it to parliament will be tempered by the poor performance of her party.
Macron's success was tempered by a record low turnout of just under 44 percent, leading his opponents to claim he had no groundswell of support. They started arriving at the National Assembly on Monday to learn their way around before the first session of parliament next week. Nearly all the ministers under former President Francois Hollande were punished at the polls, with voters electing to toss the party's political elite out of parliament.
The record-low turnout was at 42 percent, which some say is due to a lack of enthusiasm for the ideas being put forward and the politicians presenting them.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said however that "Through their vote, a wide majority of the French have chosen hope over anger", reiterating what he called his "total" determination to work on reforms in the coming months.
"There is a strong majority, there's a will for things to change." he added. The number of female lawmakers is the highest ever in France's lower house of parliament, reaching 38.7 percent - up from 26.8 percent. It will be more diverse, younger, strengthened with diverse professional, voluntary and political experience.
It is only extremists such as the humiliated far-Right National Front (FN), which managed a paltry eight seats, who will definitely be excluded from the new grand coalition.
Far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon's party won 17 seats, over the minimum of 15 needed to form a group, a tool that provides extra funds and speaking time. The party will be represented in the National Assembly by only 29 MPs.