French poll: Macron secures absolute majority

2017-06-19 14:09:14

French President Emmanuel Macron clinched an absolute majority in parliament on Sunday night, the Telegraph UK reported.

However, it said the record abstention rates and a lower-than-expected landslide had prompted critics to warn Macron has no blank cheque for far-reaching reform.

In the latest chapter in his “democratic revolution”, exit polls showed Mr Macron’s centrist party, La République en Marche, (Republic on the Move, or REM) - along with its centrist allies - was on course to win between 355 to 365 out of 577 seats in the lower house together with its centre-right MoDem ally.

Polls before the second round of the election predicted the count could be considerably higher.

But one survey suggested that 60 per cent of the French did not want the Macron majority to be too overbearing.

At 42 per cent, turnout was at a record low, an indication of voter fatigue after seven months of electoral campaigning – and also of anger with politics that could hamper Mr Macron’s reform drive.

Edouard Philippe, Mr Macron’s prime minister, said the result gave his party a “clear majority”. “It will have one mission: to act for France. Through this vote, the vast majority of French have chosen hope over anger, confidence over turning in on themselves.”

Meanwhile, the Socialists, who had a ruling majority under the previous administration of president François Hollande, suffered a crushing defeat, taking 41 to 49 seats.

Their historic losses triggered the resignation of leader Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, eliminated in round one in his Paris constituency.

Far-Left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon won in Marseille and his France Unbowed party took between 26 and 30 seats, the polls predicted. The record abstention rate, he said, suggested that the French had “entered a form of civil general strike”.

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