As expected, new French President Emmanuel Macron won a convincing parliamentary majority for his République en Marche (REM) movement in yesterday’s second round run-off election. Together with his centrist MoDem allies, Macron will command 350 of the 577 National Assembly seats. Importantly REM itself took 308 of these, enough to insure the Presidential majority against any future falling out with Francois Bayrou’s MoDem.
However Macron’s win fell well short of most polling projections, which had estimated between 410 and 450 seats. This was good news for the opposition centre-right Republicans (LR) in particular – together with their UDI and independent right (DVD) allies they saved 137 of their 226 previously held seats, in contrast to some projections which had put them as low as 70.
There was less comfort for the outgoing government party, the Socialists (PS). Starting at 284 seats, they were reduced by 90 per cent to just 29. Adding to a series of heavyweight losses in the first round, they suffered the defeat of another string of ex-ministers from the Hollande administration and their party chairman duly resigned within hours of the polling stations closing.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s France Insoumise (FI), allied with the Communist Party (PCF), will have a solid group of 27 deputies, and Mélenchon himself enters the National Assembly after a personal triumph over the sitting Socialist in Marseille.
Earlier this year the populist right-wing National Front (FN) had hopes of obtaining a substantial parliamentary group. Those hopes were dashed but the FN exceeded recent gloomy projections of just 1 to 4 seats and in the event increased its representation from 2 to 8 deputies, including for the first time leader Marine Le Pen.
The French Greens’ controversial alliance with the staggering Socialists did not pay off and they emerge with just one seat. Nicolas Dupont-Aignan of the Eurosceptic Debout La France (DLF) secured a seat, although he will not be joined by any colleagues. Five regionalists (three from Corsica) and various independents complete the new Assembly.
One of the issues for managing that Assembly will be the extraordinarily high number of new deputies – at 432 out of 577, a record for the Fifth Republic. Emmanuel Macron’s promise of ‘renewal’ in French public life is certainly being delivered here. Some 223 (39 per cent) of the new deputies will be female, a fresh high.
Less reassuring was another record set yesterday: the lowest voter turnout in the Fifth Republic at just under 43 per cent. Together with another 3 per cent, or two million, ‘blanc’ and ‘nul’ ballot papers (two ways of expressing discontent with choice on offer), it is clear that citizen disenchantment is a major challenge for the new Presidency.
National Assembly seats
REM/MoDem 350 (308+42)
LR/UDI/DVD 137 (113+18+6)
PS/PRG/EELV/DVG 45 (29+3+1+12)
FI/PCF 27 (17+10)
Extreme right 1
Total seats 577
Votes in per cent
La République En Marche (REM) 7,826,432 or 43.06%
MoDem (MDM) 1,100,790 or 6.06%
Les Républicains (LR) 4,040,016 or 22.23%
Union des Démocrates et Indépendants (UDI) 551,760 or 3.04%
Divers Droite (DVD) 306,240 or 1.68%
Front National (FN) 1,590,858 or 8.75%
Parti Socialiste (PS) 1,032,985 or 5.68%
Parti Radical de Gauche (PRG) 64,860 or 0.36%
Ecologiste (EELV) 23,197 or 0.13%
Divers Gauche (DVG) 263,619 or 1.45%
La France Insoumise (FI) 883,786 or 4.86%
Parti Communiste Francais (PCF) 217,833 or 1.20%
Regionalists 137,453 or 0.76%
Independents 100,575 or 0.55%
Extreme right 19,030 or 0.10%
Debout La France (DLF) 17,344 or 0.10%
‘Blancs’ 1,397,496 or 2.95%
‘Nuls’ 593, 159 or 1.25%
Eligible voters 47,292,967
Turnout 42.64% (2012: %)
Source: Ministry of the Interior, France. Full official results here.
FOLLOW EPR on Twitter here.
SHARE this article: