Macron’s party secures majority in French parliament

19 Jun 17

French president Emmanuel Macron’s newly formed party has won a clear majority in the country’s parliament.


Emmanuel Macron, French president. Shutterstock 618031208

Emmanuel Macron, French president. Shutterstock


La République en Marche (Republic on the Move), combined with an allied party, the Democratic Movement (MoDem), securing 350 of the National Assembly’s 577 seats.

While this was lower than had been expected, due to low turnout, it gives Macron enough legislative backing to press ahead with reforms and transforms the face of French politics, with the majority of the party’s MPs having little or no political experience.

Their success was also the downfall of France’s established political parties. After dominating French politics for decades, the Republicans and the Socialists have now endured big losses.

The centre-right Republican party saw its share of the assembly seats reduce from 195 to 137. Seats for the Socialist party – the party of former president Francois Hollande – meanwhile collapsed from 280 to just 29, their lowest ever.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right Front National, won one seat in the parliament for the first time.

She warned that despite Macron’s safe parliamentary win, his ideas “are not the majority”. Catherine Barbaroux, En Marche’s interim leader, said the party could now start making changes.

However, Le Pen’s claim does appear to be backed up by the record low turnout, which stood at just 42%, down from 57% in 2012.

Jennifer McKeown, chief European economist at Capital Economics, agreed the low turnout means Macron will not have an “easy ride” passing his reforms.

France’s youngest ever premier, who had already swept aside France’s traditional political parties in the presidential election in May, has plans to overhaul the labour and pensions system, the civil service and the budget, making savings of €60bn overall. 

“Like many presidents before him, [Macron] is likely to face strikes and protests against planned increases in working hours and flexibility regarding pay, which may force him to water down his reforms,” McKeown said.

Did you enjoy this article?

Related articles

Have your say


CIPFA latest

Most popular

Most commented

Events & webinars