French President Emmanuel Macron reappoints Edouard Philippe as PM after Sunday's vote
Jun 20 2017 by Desiree Burns
The French right, which only a year ago had believed the presidential and parliamentary elections impossible to lose, was on track for its worst parliamentary score in France's postwar Fifth Republic.
The result means Macron has a majority in the Parliament and will find it easier to push through a potentially controversial program that includes changes to French labor laws and reductions in public spending.
The Socialist party was the biggest loser, expecting to shed more than 200 seats and hold only around 34 seats - again, better than forecast, but still a drubbing.
It's still unclear who will take over leadership of the Socialists after the resignation of party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis.
Marine Le Pen celebrated a political first after she was finally elected to the French Assembly in yesterday's second-round parliamentary election, though her personal victory stood at odds with the poor performance of her right-wing National Front party.
French President Emmanuel Macron meets people after voting in the final round of parliamentary elections, in the northern seaside town of Le Touquet, France, Sunday, June 18, 2017.
The conservative Republicans and their allies would form the largest opposition bloc, with 125 to 131 seats.
Macron won the French presidency last month without the support of a traditional mainstream party, as his newly minted "En Marche!" movement helped carry him to a convincing election victory over Le Pen. It is also interesting to note that female representation in the new parliament will go up to 40% from just a quarter previously.
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Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, the rightwinger chosen by Macron to lead the cabinet, said voters had chosen "hope over misery".
But the results were tempered by a record low turnout of around 43%.
"There is a strong majority, there's a will for things to change." he added.
"We are the only force of resistance to the watering down of France, of its social model and its identity", she said defiantly. Valls won 50.3% of the vote there, according to FranceInter.
The National Front won 8.75 percent of the votes nationwide, which is more than the Socialists and Melenchon's far-left party, yet it has fewer seats.
Le Pen will leave the European Parliament, where she had been elected for the first time in 2004, and where a procedure was opened recently to strip her of her immunity over suspicions that FN party members were unduly paid by the EU parliament as assistants.
The other incumbent, Gillard Collard, won by just 123 votes over a former bullfighter, Marie Sara, one of dozens of new MPs in the REM party with no prior political experience.
But analysts say that coming shortly after a rollercoaster presidential contest, it is less a reflection of brewing hostility towards Macron than the manifestation of a benevolent wait-and-see attitude towards a man who promises to overhaul the country's ossified political system and reinvigorate its economy.