French Legislative Elections – First Round – “Pari Gagné” For President Macron
June 12, 2017
La République en Marche (President Macron’s party) received 28.2% of the votes, far ahead of all other parties
Les Républicains (right wing), scored 15,7%
All other parties have less than 15% : Le Front National 13.2%, La France Insoumise (far left) 11%, Parti Socialiste 7,4%
A historically low voter turnout : 48.7%
Despite many commentators doubting the ability of President Macron to get a majority in Parliament, the results of the first round of this general election have place his political party in a very strong position ahead of the second round.
La République En Marche (LREM), Emmanuel Macron’s political party, came out far ahead of all other parties, with almost a third of voters. Although the abstention rate was the highest since 1958 at 51.3, the first round nonetheless confirmed the wave of popular support towards Emmanuel Macron seen during the presidential election.
According to yesterday’s results, the second political force of the five-year term is likely to be Les Républicains (Conservative – right wing) which managed to receive more than 15.8% of the votes. The three other main political forces have flopped. The Front National, the far-right party of Marine Le Pen, has received 13.2% of votes, losing roughly 7 million votes since the second round of the presidential election. The far-left party, France Insoumise, is now placed ahead of the Parti Socialiste, which only received 7.4% of the votes, a historically low result for the party, which was still in government a few weeks ago. The Parti Socialiste continues its path towards further decline, with almost every minister of the last government and most of its major figures – including its leader Jean-Christophe Cambadélis and its candidate for the presidential election Benoît Hamon – eliminated in the first round.
La République en Marche: 28.2%
Les Républicains: 15.8%
Front National: 13.2%
France Insoumise: 11%
Parti Socialiste: 7.4%
MoDem : 4,1%
The new President is expected to have a large majority, which will allow him to implement his programme. The opposition in the National Assembly should mostly come from the right, which is now in a fragile situation. The results are a testimony to the political ability of the new President: few believed in the possibility of such a large victory for his party. The alliances he negotiated following the presidential election and the choices he made for his government, which includes ministers from the right, have compounded the forecasts of both political analysts and opponents.
But Emmanuel Macron will now face a wide range of challenges. Even if the second round of the elections confirms the current trend, Macron will have to work with a parliament that is largely on his side, but lacking political experience. This could hurt his chances at passing controversial reforms, such as that of the labour market and the moralisation of political life.
Nonetheless, this first round highlights the fact that much of the French electorate decided to give the new President the means to govern, thus granting him the political capital necessary to launch the reforms he promised to pass. Yesterday’s vote can thus be seen as the second act of the renewal of France’s political landscape.
LIKELY FUTURE ASSEMBLEE NATIONALE
(on the base of yesterday’s results)
According to those first results, one can imagine a massive wave in favour of the President and a profoundly new Assembly. With an estimated 415 to 455 members on their side, the government and the President will have the capacity to implement the announced reforms. The opposition will likely struggle to organize and coordinate.