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Despite pollsters' projections of pro-Macron candidates receiving up to 450 seats (in France's 577-seat lower house), a record low turnout has left Macron with just 360 seats (but still a massive majority) and Le Pen's National Front with just 6 seats.
French polling agencies are projecting that President Emmanuel Macron's new centrist party will have a large majority in the powerful lower house of parliament and a clear mandate to overhaul the way France works and does business. As AP reports, the projections from Sunday's second-round legislative elections suggest that Macron's Republic on the Move! party handily beat the traditional left and right parties that have led the National Assembly for decades. The pollsters project that Macron's candidates and their allies won as many as 360 seats in the 577-seat chamber. That was less than some had expected after its crushing victory in last week's first-round vote.
With roughly 130 seats, the Republican party is looking at a better result than initially expected: they become the biggest opposition party albeit significantly weaker according to France24.
Pollster Kantar Sofres estimates outcome of second and final round of parliamentary election based on sampling of early votes.
- Republic on the Move + allies (Macron): 360 seats
- The Republicans & allies: 133 seats
- National Front: 6 seats
- Socialists: 32 seats
- Leftwing parties: 13 seats
- Greens: 1 seats
- France Unbowed: 17 seats
- Communists: 9 seats
The turnout rate for the election was a record low...
As The FT reports, the last round of a tumultuous election season will also complete the renewal of French politics. Hundreds of first-time MPs will sit in France’s lower house and as many as 40 per cent of the lawmakers will be women, up from a quarter.
The parliamentary polls have hastened the meltdown of the established parties that have governed France for the past four decades.
Two months after the candidates for the centre-left and centre-right parties were defeated in the first round the presidential election, their traditional voters failed to mobilise, with many deciding to give the new president a chance to prove himself following an impressive debut on the international stage and as the economy picks up.
“High abstention doesn’t mean hostility. There is a benevolent wait-and-see attitude towards Emmanuel Macron in the wake of his election,” said Jean-Daniel Levy, head of political surveys at Harris Interactive.
The result was a humiliation for the socialists following the hugely unpopular presidency of François Hollande.
The party‘s existence is now under threat.
Ms Le Pen looks likely to represent her northern French strong-hold in the National Assembly, a small consolation for the party’s drop in support following her presidential defeat. It now faces a period of infighting over its direction and strategy, particularly whether its strongly anti-euro stance limited its appeal.
Macron wants to use his mandate to strip away some labor protections to encourage hiring and to toughen security.