French elections: Emmanuel Macron wins strong parliamentary majority in second round

French elections: Emmanuel Macron wins strong parliamentary majority in second round

French elections: Emmanuel Macron wins strong parliamentary majority in second round

Updated 19 June 2017, 20:00 AEST

President Emmanuel Macron wins a commanding majority in France's parliamentary election, sweeping aside mainstream parties and securing a powerful mandate to push through his pro-business reforms.

President Emmanuel Macron has won a commanding majority in France's parliamentary election, sweeping aside mainstream parties and securing a powerful mandate to push through his pro-business reforms.

The promise to reshape France's political landscape came as final results showed he had won the commanding parliamentary majority.

Key points:

  • Pollsters predict Emmanuel Macron's party to win up to 65 per cent of seats
  • Far-right leader Marine Le Pen wins a parliamentary seat for the first time
  • Mr Macron's parliamentary win caps an improbable rise to power

Official figures showed Mr Macron's Republic on the Move (LREM) had won its majority with its centre-right Modem ally taking 350 out of the 577-seat Lower House.

Government spokesman Christophe Castaner said the high abstention rate — more than 50 per cent of voters stayed at home — was a failure for the political class and highlighted the need to change politics in France.

"The real victory wasn't last night, it will be in five years' time when we have really changed things," Mr Castaner told local media.

The result redraws France's political landscape, humiliating the Socialist and conservative parties which alternated in power for decades until Mr Macron's election in May.

"Victory for the Centre" read the headline of the left-leaning Liberation newspaper.

Financial paper Les Echos' banner read "The Successful Gamble".

Mr Castaner said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and his incumbent Government would resign later in the day and a new cabinet would be formed in coming days.

He said he believed Mr Philippe would be reappointed premier.

The result means Mr Macron and his year-old centrist party can now count on politicians to give his government powers to wave the reform through without lengthy negotiations in parliament.

Sunday's election saw a record number of women voted into parliament, due largely to Mr Macron's decision to field a gender-balanced candidate list.

The Republicans and their conservative allies will form the largest opposition bloc in parliament with 131 seats, while the far-right National Front won eight. The Socialist Party — in power for the last five years — and allies won just 44, their lowest in decades.

"Tonight, the collapse of the Socialist Party is beyond doubt," Jean-Christophe Cambadelis said after announcing he would step down as head of the Socialist Party.

"The President of the Republic has all the powers."

Mr Cambadelis said the party would have to rebuild itself from the top down — he was knocked out of the running for parliament in last week's first round of voting.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen won a seat in the French Assembly for the first time and the polls showed her National Front winning four to eight seats.

But it suffered early disappointments, with its deputy leader failing to win in his constituency.

Parliamentary win caps improbable rise to power

The scale of the majority hands Mr Macron, a pro-European Union centrist, a strong platform from which to make good on campaign promises to revive France's fortunes by cleaning up politics and relaxing regulations that investors say shackle the euro zone's second-biggest economy.

Voter turnout was projected to be a record low for parliamentary elections in the post-war Fifth Republic, at about 42 per cent.

The high abstention rate underlines that Mr Macron may yet have to tread carefully with reforms in a country with muscular trade unions and a history of street protests that have forced many a past government to dilute new legislation.

France's youngest leader since Napoleon, Mr Macron emerged from relative obscurity to score a thumping win in the presidential election in May.

Having never held elected office, he seized on the growing resentment towards a political elite perceived as out of touch, and on public frustration at their failure to create jobs and spur stronger growth to win the Elysee.

His year-old party then filled the political space created by the disarray within the Socialist Party and The Republicans, with Sunday night (local time) capping a sequence of events that a year ago looked improbable.

Reuters