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Macron's party wins majority in parliamentary polls

20 June 2017

His La République en Marche [LREM] party won an estimated 359 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly, some way short of predictions last week that forecast his fledging party could finish with as many as 450.

France's far left has performed better that the far right. It rejects reforms to the labor market that are at the heart of Macron's plans to modernize France.

The interim president of the Republic on the Move party, Catherina Barbaroux, has hailed the election result as historic.

(REM - "The Republic on the Move!") has won an absolute majority after the second round of the elections for France's National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament. ("Forward!") a year ago before he ran for the French Presidency. ("The Republic on the Move!", abbreviated as LREM or REM), attracting dissenters from the French Socialist Party, the conservative Republicans party, and smaller parties.

Female parliamentary representation has increased steadily in France in recent years, with the 2012 elections seeing a record 155 women - 26.9 percent - voted in, up from 18.5 percent in the 2007 elections and 12.3 percent in 2002. Then again, it's the biggest majority in the Assembly since the 1968 elections and the result also confirms the destruction of the Socialist party and the disarray of the Republicians.

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"A year ago, no one would have imagined such a renewal of political life", prime minister Edouard Philippe said on Sunday evening.

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A source close to the president said Ferrand, who was an early defector to Macron from the Socialist party and ran his presidential campaign, would instead lead the LREM parliamentary group. The party's leader, Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, immediately stood down. The rout of the Socialist Party is irrevocable.

The party of former president François Hollande lost about 200 seats, leaving them with around 46, and the conservative Republicans ended up with about 115 seats.

German chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Macron for his "clear majority" and said that she wanted to continue the "the good cooperation" with France "for Germany, for France and for Europe".

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According to the French Interior Ministry, the far right National Front gained just under 1.6 million votes, placing third after En Marche! and Les Republicains, who earned the support of 7.8 million and 4.0 million voters respectively.

REM's Laetitia Avia, 31, who rose from humble beginnings in a family of Togolese immigrants to found her own legal practice, became one of the few French women of African origin to have ever won a parliamentary seat.

"Abstention has today broken new records".

Many observers suggested voters were tired of elections after four in the space of two months.

France's youngest leader since Napoleon and having never before held elected office, Macron has seized on the growing resentment towards a political elite perceived as out of touch, and on public frustration at its failure to create jobs and spur stronger growth.

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