Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

A stunning victory for Emmanuel Macron in the French Parliament election

A stunning victory for Emmanuel Macron in the French Parliament election

But turnout was at a record low level, and that could cloud Macron's mandate.

The far-right National Front (FN) had 13.2%, followed by the far-left France Unbowed on just over 11%.

France's Socialists who had ruled the country after 2012 have suffered a disastrous defeat, ending up fifth, with about 9% of the votes.

France's youngest-ever president at 39 coasted to victory in Sunday's first round on the back of a strong debut.

The Socialist Party of the deeply unpopular former President Francois Hollande was shredded in the first round, with its leader, Jean-Christophe Cambadelis eliminated along with Benoit Hamon, the party's presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, Daiwa Capital Markets Europe contrasted Macron's success with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's failed political gamble following the General Election result Friday. ("Forward!") previous year before he ran for the French Presidency.

The result was also disappointing for radical leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon, who had hoped for a parliamentary breakthrough on the back of his 19.6 per cent vote in the presidential election.

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Responding to the criticism, a senior party official of Macron's Republic on the Move (LREM) party said there would be no riding roughshod over alternative views.

Voters will return to the ballot box for the second round of the legislative poll on June 18, with public opinion experts expecting participation to improve slightly.

But turnout was low, about 49 percent, which analysts said reflected a sense of resignation among Mr Macron's opponents.

The next elections for the French Senate, the upper house, are scheduled for September 2017.

Emmanuel Macron waves after voting in the first of two rounds of French parliamentary elections.

French polling agencies are projecting that President Emmanuel Macron's new centrist party crushed traditional rivals in the first round of parliamentary elections likely to drastically reshape French politics.

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.

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Major results of all available exit polls showed that LERM won up to 33.5 percent of votes, ahead of the conservatives which collected between 20.8 percent and 22 percent. The right-wing conservative party Le Republicains ("The Republicans") won about 21% of the votes.

Rivals began sounding the alarm regarding the majority, with Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, head of the Socialist Party, remarking that opposition almost no longer exists, and Marine Le Pen calling the abstention rate "catastrophic".

Macron professes to be of neither the right nor left.

The right-wing Republican party, which only at the start of this year had seemed on course to win the Presidency under Francois Fillon, will be nearly certainly be the main opposition, with between 70 and 110 seats according to Ipsos projections.

The Socialists, who were most recently in power, were facing a historic wipe-out and the far-right National Front (FN) has also under-performed, he said.

He added that many candidates for other parties have already served multiple terms and "are disconnected to the reality of what we live on a day by day basis".

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