Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Macron's centrist party wins clear majority in French Parliament

Macron's centrist party wins clear majority in French Parliament

President Emmanuel Macron's fledgling En Marche! party has secured a large majority in parliamentary elections, exit polls suggest.

With its allies from MoDem centrist party, it is represented by 360 lawmakers, sparing the need to rely on other movements to pass legislation on labour codes, cut public expenditure by billions of euros, raise taxes on consumption and wealthy pensioners and invest more in training and innovative sectors.

With 82 percent of the votes counted, Macron's party had 42 percent of the vote, the conservative Republicans 22 percent, the far-right National Front 10 percent and the Socialists only 6 percent.

Marine Le Pen, Mr Macron's far-right rival in the final round of the presidential election, has won a seat in parliament for the first time.

It is also entirely unexpected: Macron was unknown three years ago and initially given little chance of emerging as president, but he and his 15-month-old Republic on the Move (REM) party have tapped into widespread desire for change. FILE - In this Sunday, June 11, 2017 file photo, people walk in a polling station before casting their ballots in the first round of parliamentary elections, in Lyon, central France.

Jean-Luc Melenchon's far-left La France insoumise (Unbowed France) party and its Communist supporters are expected to hold 30 seats. The Socialist Party was predicted to win 34 seats - versus more than 300 during the previous legislature.

Macron's party "vampirized" the left and right after his huge win in the presidential ballot, Dabi said on CNews TV.

The party, which was in power for five years under former president Francois Hollande, has been associated with years of high unemployment, low national confidence and social unrest.

Mr Macron was previously economy minister in his predecessor's government, but quit the job and resigned his party's whip to launch a bid for the presidency.

His centrist Republic on the Move! party is expected to win more than 400 seats.

French President Emmanuel Macron has voted in parliamentary elections expected to hand his 14-month-old party a big majority.

The far-right Front National, which now has two seats in parliament, was predicted to win up to eight seats, better than its first-round showing had indicated.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also welcomed the vote's outcome, tweeting that it paved "the way for reforms in France+Europe".

The party is expected to win only a handful of seats despite its third-place showing in the first round. Experts partly blamed voter fatigue following the May election of Macron, plus voter disappointment with politics.

Less than half of the 47.5 million-strong electorate turned out for the first round last Sunday, a record low.

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