French President Emmanuel Macron’s nascent political party has stormed past its traditional rivals in the first round of voting in parliamentary elections which took place Sunday.
The result supports predictions that Macron will secure a whopping majority in the second round, thereby paving the way for him to implement his pro-business agenda.
According to the French Interior Ministry, Macron’s La Republique En Marche! movement – in alliance with the centrist MoDem party – gained 32.32 percent of the vote.
France’s right wing Republican party, allied with the Union of Democrats and Independents, secured 18.80 percent. They were tailed by Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front at 13.20 percent and the left wing Socialists who are the party of former President Francois Hollande at 7.44 percent.
A second round of voting for candidates who scored above 12.5 percent (securing above 25 percent of votes first time round counts as an outright win) will take place on June 18, after which Reuters reports that Macron could hold power over as many as 445 seats in the 577-strong National Assembly. Many of the En Marche! candidates have little or no political experience due to Macron’s pledge to cleanse France’s political establishment.
But voter turnout, at an historic low of 48.71 percent, called the strength of Macron’s mandate into question.