France begins voting in second round of parliamentary election

Pauline Gross
June 18, 2017

Macron's centrist Republic on the Move [LREM] party is barely more than a year old yet pollsters project it will win as many as 75-80 percent of seats in the 577-seat lower house.

"Go and vote!" Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Thursday.

While the results will matter less to bilateral relations than the presidential election (by tradition the French system enables foreign policy to lie largely in the hands of the President), they are likely to be welcomed by India and Indian business: and followed in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Paris to discuss climate change policy, and anti-terror strategies, among other issues.

France saw the record abstention of a little over 50 percent during the first round of the parliamentary election.

Since clinching victory in presidential elections on May 7, Macron has made a confident start to his term and his REM parliamentary candidates have been pulled along in his afterglow.

Melenchon said Friday that Macron lacked legitimacy.

"We need other parties to have some weight", 54-year-old assembly line worker Veronique Franqueville, who is not a fan of Macron, said in the auto park of a tumble-drier factory where she works in the northern town of Amiens.

In the first round, LREM and MoDem won a combined 32.3% of the vote.

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And the rest of us? "I think people in the party see she reaches people that the Conservatives haven't got to in a long time". Scotland was the only good news for a Conservative Party that lost its overall majority in the British parliament .

Macron's rivals have urged voters not to stay at home, warning power could be too concentrated in the hands of one party and democratic debate stifled.

A so-called super-majority for Macron's party will nearly certainly be well received by the markets as it will give Macron the mandate to deliver his Presidential election promises to loosen France's employment laws, overhaul its social security system and recommit to the European Union.

The election is set to send shockwaves through the older parties, with their unity, and even survival, at stake.

The conservative Les Républicains are expected to be the biggest opposition group in parliament. Polls predict, however, that the party will secure no more than 90-95 seats, down from the 199 it now holds.

According to the Odoxa poll published on Friday, REM is poised to get up to 450 seats in France's 577-seat parliament, while The Republicans could get between 70 and 95 seats that would be a considerable decrease from the 194 seats gained by its predecessor Union for a Popular Movement's (UMP) and the Socialists could get around 30 seats that would show nearly a tenfold decline, as they had 280 seats in the previous parliament.

Where Ms. Marine Le Pen wanted to shut out the immigrants from France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron insists on having a six-month period for assessing and processing the asylum requests and an integration program for the foreigners who came to France.

Voting will continue until 6pm (16:00 GMT) across France and 8 pm in major cities, with polling companies due to give estimates of the outcome shortly after polls close.

Other reports by GizPress

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