The French President Emmanuel Macron has won the strong parliamentary majority he asked the people of France to give him and can now proceed with the reforms he campaigned for, aiming to revive the French economy. Given his pro-EU rhetoric, his success could translate into success for the rest of the EU and perhaps more specifically the Eurozone.
Macron’s centrist party, La République en Marche, and its fellow centrist ally, Modem, secured a comfortable majority in the National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament, by winning 350 of the 577 seats. After the first round of elections a week ago, some anticipated that more than 400 seats would be won by the two parties. Despite those expectations not materializing, the result is impressive for Macron’s party which was formed only fourteen months ago and which would still hold a majority in parliament even without Modem’s support.
The Socialist party of former President François Hollande suffered a crushing defeat, losing more than 200 seats. Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, the party’s leader immediately stepped down. The National Front of far-right leader Marine Le Pen won nine seats, failing to capitalize on the votes its leader secured when running for president. Le Pen, who won a seat in the National Assembly for the first time in four attempts, was aiming to reach the 15-seat threshold, a feat which would grant her party greater financial support and more speaking time. Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Unbowed France won 17 seats, the Communist party 10, while the centre-right Republicans and ally forces, who will form the main opposition, won 137 seats from 199 before.
The turnout hit a new record low of just 43%, offering Le Pen the opportunity to question the legitimacy of the new parliament and the strength of the support Macron has received. It is also interesting to note that female representation in the new parliament will go up to 40% from just a quarter previously.
Closing with the reaction in the forex markets, as Asian markets opened for trading the euro received a modest boost, jumping to as high as $1.1208 to reach its highest for the day so far. As European traders are commencing their trading day, euro/dollar is marginally below the 1.12 handle.