Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Macron's party claims parliament victory despite low turnout

The Latest French premier Macron's party wins election Macron's party claims parliament victory despite low turnout
Erik Tate | 26 June, 2017, 01:42

Election officials on June 12 said that with almost all ballots counted, Macron's Republique en Marche party (Republic on the Move) had 28 percent of the vote in an election marked by a historically low turnout.

Since then, it won the presidency, updated its name to Republic on the Move and is now dominating parliamentary elections.

"The National Front has not recovered from the period between the two rounds (of the presidential election) and its successive mess-ups", Brice Teinturier of the Ipsos polling institute said on France 2 TV.

Seven to 12 seats will be claimed by other candidates.

French far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon has decried the low participation rate in the first round of parliamentary elections, saying it shows France's volatile political situation.

Rating agency S&P Global Ratings said on Monday it was likely to raise its growth outlook for France and the euro zone now that Macron looks poised to win a huge majority.

The near-final first-round tally pointed to a legislative majority so crushing that Mr Macron's rivals fretted that the 39-year-old president will be able to govern France nearly unopposed for his full five-year term.

A comprehensive victory for Macron's party is largely seen as a market-friendly event, although the CAC 40 index was down nearly 1% on Monday at midday.

They include tech entrepreneur Bruno Bonnell, who campaigned by sticking photos of him and Mr Macron on the side of a rented van in Villeurbanne, eastern France.

The loss is the far-right's second recent set back in just over a month after Le Pen lost the presidential runoff to Macron.

Philip Hammond: 'Bad deal could suck lifeblood out of UK'
Indices wise, both the FTSE 100 and the DAX 30 paid little attention to the talks and maintained their bullish trend. The two men will meet for a week every month to negotiate, and use the time in between to "work on proposals".

The results, if confirmed, deliver a further crushing blow to the Socialist and conservative parties that had alternated in power for decades until Macron's election in May blew apart the left-right divide that had shaped French politics.

François Baroin, head of the Republicans, said the low turnout testified to the "deep divisions in French society" and was "extremely worrying". If there is no clear victor, all candidates who win more than 12.5 percent in the first round qualify for the second round next Sunday.

Despite the poor performance, Le Pen's control over the party remained too strong for any challenge to her leadership in the near future, he said, especially after her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen stepped away from politics.

Mr Mahjoubi himself is running for a seat in Paris as a candidate with Mr Macron's party.

France's right wing Republican party, allied with the Union of Democrats and Independents, secured 18.80 percent.

Pollsters forecast the Republicans would win 20.9 percent, the FN 13.1 percent, and the Socialists with a grouping of left-wing parties 9 percent.

He needs a majority to push through the changes that he promised in his campaign.

Having an absolute majority at the National Assembly, France's lower and more powerful house of parliament, will allow Macron to govern more at ease during his five-year terms.

His party fielded newcomers in around 200 constituencies, some of whom felled long-sitting former ministers at the first round.

Macron, 39, the former banker and economics minister who had never before held elected office, gambled correctly that voters were ready for something completely new: a movement occupying the political center ground, made up largely of new faces, many of them with no political experience at all.

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