Saturday

27th Nov 2021

Macron looking for a parliament majority

  • Macron's party could get a majority of around 400 seats in the National Assembly, out of 577.

A month after his election to the French presidency, Emmanuel Macron will seek on Sunday (11 June) to strengthen his power in the first round of legislative elections.

Opinion polls suggest that the Republique en Marche (LRM, Republic on the Move) will gather more than 30 percent of votes, well ahead of the conservative Republicans party (around 22%) and the far right National Front (17%).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

In the second round on 18 June, LRM could get a majority of around 400 seats in the National Assembly, out of 577. Such an outcome would give Macron free reign to introduce wide-sweeping reforms, such as more flexibility for the labour market.

It would also confirm and complete the demolition of the French political system, achieved by the 39-year old leader during the presidential election.

The main victim of what many call the "Macron revolution" will be the Socialist Party (PS), which was in power until a month ago with president Francois Hollande.

After the PS candidate Benoit Hamon only got 6.7 percent in the first round of the presidential elections in April, the party could be potentially be swept off the political landscape, with 20 to 30 MPs left, down from 271.

On the right, the Republicans can expect between 95 and 115 seats, according to polls, down from 193 in the current assembly.

The National Front is credited with between 5 and 15 seats, up from two currently.

Despite a record 10.6 million votes obtained by National Front's leader Marine Le Pen in the presidential run-off, the far right party will be deprived of real political weight in the next parliament, thanks to the two-round voting system that often pits the party against all the others.

Macron, who still has to present his first meaningful reform, has been on a winning streak since his election, due to the decomposition of the traditional parties, as well as to a series of international stunts.

He resisted US president's infamous handshake, when he met Donald Trump in Brussels, then lectured Russian president Vladimir Putin about the Russian state media's fake news outlet in Versailles. After Trump pulled out of the Paris agreement, Macron featured in a video that went viral and coined the slogan "Make the planet great again".

The new president, while bringing down the current political system, will benefit from historical convention by which French voters would give the new president a majority to govern.

Voters are poised to do so even if Macron's party, which was founded only a year ago, present many unknown or unexperienced candidates.

Almost half of LRM's candidates never ran in an election before. Only 22 candidates were already MPs, mainly with the PS and the centrist Modem and UDI parties.

Overall, 39 percent of the outgoing MPs will not run again. That means that however large the LRM victory is, the new National Assembly will be, in large part, composed of newcomers.

That will help Macron govern as he wants, but that will also put to the test his ability to meet his promises of reforms and renewal.

The new MPs will arrive "with no knowledge and no practice of the parliamentary world," the historian and political scientist Nicolas Roussellier noted.

"The question is whether this arithmetical renewal will lead to a political renewal: new ideas, new projects or behaviours," he said in an interview in France's national newspaper, Le Monde.

"In previous cases, the windbag quickly deflated. So we have to wait," he added.

French MEPs in fresh fake jobs scandal

Revelations in France are surfacing that centrist MEPs from the Democratic Movement may have unlawfully used EU parliament funds to pay assistants working for the national political party.

Macron and Putin hold uneasy first talks

French and Russian leaders agreed to "strengthen" ties at their first meeting, but exchanged jabs about Russian efforts to influence French elections.

Analysis

Macron faces challenges after foretold victory

French president is expected to win a three-fifths majority in parliament on Sunday, but he will have to manage an unruly group of MPs in a socially unstable country.

News in Brief

  1. Covid variant: EU to block travel from southern Africa
  2. France and UK seek EU help on Channel migrants
  3. New Swedish PM who resigned after 7 hours gets second chance
  4. Belgium to decide on Friday on Covid measures
  5. UK rings alarm on new Covid strain in South Africa
  6. Turkish police use tear gas at women's rights march
  7. Poland calls for more Nato troops
  8. Ex-Navalny aide leaves Russia

Parliament outmanoeuvred in EU top-post game

The European Parliament on Tuesday lost a years-long power struggle, and gave up winning more influence on European politics via the so-called Spitzenkandidat process it had championed.

Who is the new EU parliament president, David Sassoli?

The 63-year-old centre-left Italian MEP was elected president of the European Parliament, with 345 votes. A former journalist, Sassoli has experience as a vice-president of the parliament, but is little known.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. Belgium goes into three-week 'lockdown light'
  2. MEPs list crimes of 'Kremlin proxy' mercenaries
  3. EU to open up 'black box' of political ads
  4. Can the ECB solve climate change and inflation on its own?
  5. EU set to limit vaccine certificate to nine months
  6. Surprise coalition in Romania without former Renew's Ciolos
  7. This 'Black Friday' is a turning point in corporate accountability
  8. West struggling to show strength on Ukraine

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us