Another Stunning Election In France As Macron's Party Sweeps

Geneva Matthews
June 26, 2017

Only 48.8 percent of registered voters cast their ballot on Sunday, the lowest turnout in French modern politics.

Many of those who voted for him in the presidential election, particularly left-wing voters, said they were doing so only to keep Marine Le Pen out.

Moreover, in the past decade, the presidents elected by French voters failed to bail the country out of social, economic and development dilemma.

France goes to the polls today with President Emmanuel Macron seeking the parliamentary majority he requires to bring about his political revolution.

Such an outcome would transform into a landslide majority in the second round, the opinion polls show.

Some of those delegates joined Macron's party; many were replaced by political amateurs.

The radical France Insoumise (France Unbowed) of leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon and on-off Communist allies fell short of expectations.

Le Pen's party took a disappointing 13.5 per cent, well below her 21.3 per cent of the presidential first round vote, according to Kantar Public-onepoint which predicted only one to four seats for the far right party. The Socialist Party presidential candidate, Benoît Hamon, lost his seat in the Assembly-part of a rout that will likely see his party drop as many as 150 seats.

Former prime minister Alain Juppe of the rightwing Republicans said the mass stayaway by voters was a sign of "deep malaise" in the electorate and that a clean sweep by Macron would be bad for democracy.

The victory of the LREM, a movement launched by Macron less than a year ago, is considered a slap to mainstream parties, such as the Socialist party, who received only 10 percent of total vote, which means losing 90 percent of its lawmakers.

Still, Macron's party appears likely to triumph in the runoff, putting the French president in a strong position to enact his reforms, including a battle with French labor unions that overwhelmed his predecessor, François Hollande.

"We've maybe been disappointed by the score and we have paid the price, I think, for a low turnout", he told reporters.

Francois Baroin, who led the campaign of the conservative Republicans, projected to win 80-100 seats, echoed the sentiment.

Very few candidates received the 50 percent vote needed for a first-round victory.

"For the third time in a row, millions of you have confirmed your support for the President of the republic's policy of renewal, unity and reconquest", Mr Philippe said in a televised statement.

The Republicans and their allies fared better, but with just shy of 22 percent of the vote, they were a distant second to Macron's. Le Pen complained that the legislative voting system didn't fully represent voters' wishes - because her party got around 14 percent of votes but wasn't able to greatly improve on the two legislators it had in the last legislature. Madani Cheurfa, secretary general of the Sciences Po CEVIPOF research institute, said in an interview that the legislative elections "will indicate what will be the practice of power for the next five years to come in France".

Macron, who had never held elected office before becoming president, has run novices seeking to emulate his success in around 200 constituencies - part of his bid to inject new blood in French politics.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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