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Macron wins strong parliamentary majority, estimates show


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Macron wins strong parliamentary majority, estimates show

By Ingrid Melander and Maya Nikolaeva

 

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French President Emmanuel Macron casts his ballot as he votes at a polling station in the second round parliamentary elections in Le Touquet, France, June 18, 2017. REUTERS/Christophe Archambault/Pool

 

PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron won a commanding majority in France's parliamentary election on Sunday, pollsters' estimates showed, sweeping aside mainstream parties and securing a powerful mandate to push through his pro-business reforms.

 

The result, if confirmed, redraws France's political landscape, humiliating the Socialist and conservative parties which alternated in power for decades until Macron's election in May.

 

Two pollsters projected that Macron's Republic on the Move (LREM) and its Modem allies would win 355-360 seats in the 577-seat lower house, lower than previously forecast.

 

A third poll by Elabe initially showed a far bigger majority, projecting 395-425 seats for the Macron alliance, but later brought down its forecast to 373-403.

 

The three projections predicted the conservative Republicans and their allies would form the largest opposition bloc with 107-133 seats, while the Socialist Party, in power for the last five years, and its partners would secure 30-49 seats, their lowest ever.

 

"Tonight, the collapse of the Socialist Party is beyond doubt. The president of the Republic has all the powers," Jean-Christophe Cambadelis said after announcing he would step down as party chief.

 

He said the party would have to rebuild itself from the top down. Cambadelis was knocked out of the running for parliament in last week's first round of voting.

 

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen won a seat in the French Assembly for the first time and the polls showed her National Front winning four to eight seats.

 

But it suffered early disappointments, with its deputy leader failing to win in his constituency.

 

The scale of the majority hands Macron, a pro-European Union centrist, a strong platform from which to make good on campaign promises to revive France's fortunes by cleaning up politics and relaxing regulations that investors say shackle the euro zone’s second-biggest economy.

 

Voter turnout was projected to be a record low for parliamentary elections in the post-war Fifth Republic, at about 42 percent.

 

The high abstention rate underlines that Macron may yet have to tread carefully with reforms in a country with muscular trade unions and a history of street protests that have forced many a past government to dilute new legislation.

 

POLITICAL ROUTING

 

Macron’s win in parliament marks the routing of the old political class.

 

In a country where powerful politicians traditionally held their seats for decades, LREM's lawmakers are a blend of seasoned veterans and political novices. Half its candidates were women and many came from African and Middle Eastern immigrant backgrounds.

 

Macron's rivals went into the second round trying only to limit the scale of the newcomer's win. They urged voters not to allow too much power to be concentrated in the hands of one party and warned Macron's MPs would be mere yes-men who would rubber-stamp legislation.

 

It appeared the message had some impact. Polls ahead of the vote had projected Macron could win as many as 470 seats.

 

Francois Baroin, who led The Republicans' campaign, said the conservatives would show their differences with Macron, especially on taxes.

 

The huge majority gives Macron a robust mandate for reforms that include cutting tens of thousands of public sector jobs, making it easier for companies to hire and fire and capping redundancy packages.

 

However, the low voter turnout, and the large numbers of voters who backed candidates from the far right and far left over Macron in the presidential election earlier this year, suggest large swathes of the population have little enthusiasm for such change.

 

France's youngest leader since Napoleon, Macron emerged from relative obscurity to score a thumping win in the presidential election in May.

 

Having never held elected office, he seized on the growing resentment towards a political elite perceived as out of touch, and on public frustration at their failure to create jobs and spur stronger growth to win the Elysee.

 

His year-old party then filled the political space created by the disarray within the Socialist Party and The Republicans, with Sunday night capping a sequence of events that a year ago looked improbable.

 

The scale of LREM’s win means Macron will enjoy an absolute majority even without the support of alliance partner Francois Bayrou and Modem, lending him a freer hand for reforms and room for a government reshuffle should he choose to carry one out. Modem currently has two ministers in the cabinet.

 

Parliamentary election graphic - http://tmsnrt.rs/2rWjPPp

 

(Additional reporting by Antoine Boddaert, Myriam Rivet, Cecile Mantovani and Celia Mebroukine; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Andrew Callus and Andrew Roche)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-06-19
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Macron and his new LREM party have indeed scored an amazing and historic victory but he and about half of his new politicians are new to top politics , and may believe that their majority will enable them to force through some unpopular policies , (particularly those affecting working rights), but possible resulting mass protest street protests (if not riots) in the streets for which the French are famous might cause a violent back-lash and a rapid end to his honeymoon period.  If that happens, the new-found confidence and optimism in the EU and its ultimate hopes for a United States of Europe may nose-dive.

 

The professed  "unity" among the remaining 27 EU nations In the pending EU negotiations, widely predicted to be to the UK's major disadvantage, will soon be shown to be an illusion, when each country fights for its own advantage.  I predict compromises will be made in most areas and that the eventual outcome of the UK exit will not be a disaster for the UK or for the EU, but a settlement acceptable to both parties, without being a "victory" for either, although no doubt both will claim it as such.  I just hope that the EU is not pinning its hopes on a 60 to 100 billion Euros exit fee, as suggested to date, as I believe that although that could be the first sticking point in the negotiations it will ultimately be their first major disappointment.  

 

Although not ideal, I still believe that May's initial stance to walk away with no deal rather than a bad deal was the correct one.  Multinational companies negotiating a deal or a takeover sometimes go to the brink, but if the takeover conditions ultimately prove to be unfavourable, they will quite properly pull out and abandon the deal. altogether and go it alone.  The UK is in a similar position.    A good deal is Kk but a bad deal should be abandoned altogether leaving the UK not in fact alone but freely able to trade with the rest of the world without the EU's permission.

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I wish Macron the best of luck. He is a ray of hope in a world that's gone slightly mad, and the election of the man-child is the prime example. If you're gonna go with something new then what the French did makes sense, while what the US did does not. He might not turn out to get anything done at all (not least because he's facing forces who are happy to take to the streets and vent their feelings) but at least there's hope. Not so with the orange abomination currently infesting the WH.

 

It seems like large parts of the electorate in the West suddenly found out it's a good idea to cut off your nose to spite your face. Sigh...

 

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2 hours ago, Retiredandhappyhere said:

Macron and his new LREM party have indeed scored an amazing and historic victory but he and about half of his new politicians are new to top politics , and may believe that their majority will enable them to force through some unpopular policies , (particularly those affecting working rights), but possible resulting mass protest street protests (if not riots) in the streets for which the French are famous might cause a violent back-lash and a rapid end to his honeymoon period.  If that happens, the new-found confidence and optimism in the EU and its ultimate hopes for a United States of Europe may nose-dive.

 

The professed  "unity" among the remaining 27 EU nations In the pending EU negotiations, widely predicted to be to the UK's major disadvantage, will soon be shown to be an illusion, when each country fights for its own advantage.  I predict compromises will be made in most areas and that the eventual outcome of the UK exit will not be a disaster for the UK or for the EU, but a settlement acceptable to both parties, without being a "victory" for either, although no doubt both will claim it as such.  I just hope that the EU is not pinning its hopes on a 60 to 100 billion Euros exit fee, as suggested to date, as I believe that although that could be the first sticking point in the negotiations it will ultimately be their first major disappointment.  

 

Although not ideal, I still believe that May's initial stance to walk away with no deal rather than a bad deal was the correct one.  Multinational companies negotiating a deal or a takeover sometimes go to the brink, but if the takeover conditions ultimately prove to be unfavourable, they will quite properly pull out and abandon the deal. altogether and go it alone.  The UK is in a similar position.    A good deal is Kk but a bad deal should be abandoned altogether leaving the UK not in fact alone but freely able to trade with the rest of the world without the EU's permission.

 

"the fantasy cycle" ... a pattern that recurs in personal lives, in politics, in history – and in storytelling. When we embark on a course of action which is unconsciously driven by wishful thinking, all may seem to go well for a time, in what may be called the "dream stage". But because this make-believe can never be reconciled with reality, it leads to a "frustration stage" as things start to go wrong, prompting a more determined effort to keep the fantasy in being. As reality presses in, it leads to a "nightmare stage" as everything goes wrong, culminating in an "explosion into reality", when the fantasy finally falls apart"                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                           Christopher Booker

 

Edited by Enoon
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