Emmanuel Macron was on course for another massive landslide win in parliamentary elections tonight
In results that will have huge implications for Brexit, projections pointed to Mr Macron’s Republique En Marche! (Republic On the Move, or REM) party gaining between 414 and 445 seats in the Paris National Assembly.
This represents 32.6 per cent of the popular vote, and would be far above the 289 needed to secure an absolute majority following the second and final round of voting next Sunday.
It follows Mr Macron winning the presidency with 66 per cent of the vote last month, after crushing Marine Le Pen, of the National Front.
She was hoping to establish the FN as a serious opposition to REM today, but instead won just 13.9 per cent of the vote.
The FN is now likely to gain between one and four seats in parliament – making them a fringe extremist grouping.
Meanwhile, a rock solid mandate will be hugely advantageous to the fiercely pro-EU Mr Macron in the run up to Brexit negotiations.
Results showed his party gaining between 414 and 445 seats in the Paris National Assembly
It contrasts with the relatively chaotic situation in the UK, where no majority government has emerged following last Thursday’s General Election.
That’s what the country wants and that’s what it deserves
Mr Macron has described the prospect of the UK leaving the EU as ‘a crime’, and in talks with Prime Minister Theresa May last month insisted ‘The EU will be united in Brexit negotiations’.
He would rather see a so-called ‘Hard Brexit’ – including UK leaving the European Single Market – rather than conceding advantages to an exiting state.
A total of 7,882 candidates were running for 577 seats in the National Assembly in today’s first round of the two-stage legislative elections. Turnout was less than 50 per cent today – a record low under the French 5th Republic.
It follows Mr Macron winning the presidency after crushing Marine Le Pen
The REM candidates include many newcomers to politics, including a retired bullfighter, a military jet pilot and a mathematician. Half of them are women.
Around 47million voters were eligible to vote today following 39-year-old Mr Macron becoming his country’s youngest-ever president on May 7th.
Following his election, Mr Macron called on French voters to give him a ‘majority to make changes’, adding: ‘That’s what the country wants and that’s what it deserves.’
Sun, May 14, 2017
French president-elect Emmanuel Macron’s inauguration in pictures.
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French President Emmanuel Macron poses with his wife Brigitte Trogneux at the Elysee presidential Palace
The Socialist Party – which polled just nine per cent of the vote today – is in chaos following five years of disastrous administration by former President Francois Hollande.
Controversy has meanwhile dominated the opposition Republicans Party, the current name for the Gaullist conservatives who have formed numerous governments in the post-war period.
They won 20.9 per cent of the vote today, suggesting they will gain between 80 and 100 seats in the new parliament.
He told Theresa May last month ‘The EU will be united in Brexit negotiations’
The Republicans candidate for president was Francois Fillon, an indicted criminal suspect who still faces trial over a fake jobs scandal with his British-born wife, Penelope Fillon.
Far-Right firebrand Ms Le Pen was runner-up in the presidential election, and was hoping her FN would add to the two seats they had in the last parliament.
Ms Le Pen has been trying to become an MP since 1993, without success, but is still hoping for a change in fortune in the northern constituency of Henin-Beumont.