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Principale » Macron set for huge majority, but low turnout a concern

Macron set for huge majority, but low turnout a concern

13 Juin 2017

LREM party president Catherine Barbaroux thanked voters because "their choice has a clear meaning: they want the action taken by Emmanuel Macron, since his election to the Presidency of the Republic, to be continued".

Forecasts based on partial results showed Macron continuing his centrist revolution, with his Republique en Marche party (Republic on the Move, REM) and its ally MoDem tipped to win between 390 and 445 seats in the 577-member National Assembly in next Sunday's second round.

"While the political situation in the United Kingdom has become more complicated, across the Channel, conventional wisdom appears to have been turned on its head as Macron's new party.has swept the board in the first round of French parliamentary elections, no mean feat for a movement that didn't even exist two years ago", said CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.

Voter turnout hit an historic low with abstention in the first round reaching 51 percent, the highest level since 1958, according to Interior Ministry data.

Among commentators also sounding a cautionary note was Nicolas Beytout of the daily L'Opinion, who wrote: "Sure, Emmanuel Macron is ready to pull off the unthinkable for someone who didn't even have a party a year ago - a spectacular majority in the National Assembly".

Mounir Mahjoubi, junior minister in charge of digital affairs, said on BFM television that voters have acknowledged that the first weeks of Macron's presidency "have been exemplary" and "have allowed the French to see there is a path that suits them".

Polling agencies also project a historically low turnout of around 50 percent, reflecting fatigue after a roller-coaster election season that brought Macron to power last month.

The FN's result showed the party struggling to rebound from Le Pen's bruising defeat by Macron in May's presidential run-off. The FN's deputy leader Florian Philippot admitted to " disappointment" and called on voters to "mobilise massively " for the second round.

The radical-left France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party of Jean-Luc Melenchon who finished fourth in the presidential race also fell short of expectations. His camp is tipped to only take 10-23 seats.

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The Socialist Party and its allies are projected to win 15 - 40 seats, far less than its current 277 seat.

"We would have a National Assembly with no real power of control and without democratic debate to speak of", he said.

In the last legislative elections in 2012, turnout in the first round stood at 57 percent.

The second round of the vote is held next Sunday.

The Socialist Party and its allies are projected to win 20 to 30 seats.

Near-final results from France's first-round parliamentary elections showed President Emmanuel Macron's new movement winning by a large margin and set to land a huge majority in the final-round vote. France's youngest-ever president at 39, Macron has gained praise for appointing a balanced cabinet that straddles the left-right divide and taking a leading role in Europe's fight-back against US President Donald Trump on climate change.

France is Germany's second-biggest trading partner and the strong support for pro-European centrist reformer Macron has sparked hopes that Berlin and Paris will spearhead a broad-based economic revival in Europe and a push for more integration in the euro zone.

Polls suggest the elections will strongly favor Macron's party and dramatically shake up French politics, punishing the traditional left and right parties and leaving no single strong opposition force.

President Emmanuel Macron is trying to boost France's diplomatic profile in the Middle East and reconcile tensions between Qatar and its neighbors over Islamic extremism. "His one-year-old movement is ready to flood the parliament with conquering neophytes".