‘French president Emmanuel Macron clinched an absolute majority in parliament on Sunday night, but record abstention rates and a lower-than-expected landslide prompted critics to warn he has no blank cheque for far-reaching reform.
In the latest chapter in his “democratic revolution”, exit polls showed Mr Macron’s centrist party, La République en Marche, (Republic on the Move, or REM) – along with its centrist allies – was on course to win between 355 to 365 out of 577 seats in the lower house together with its centre-right MoDem ally. Polls before the second round of the election predicted the count could be considerably higher.
But one survey suggested that 60 per cent of the French did not want the Macron majority to be too overbearing.
At 42 per cent, turnout was at a record low, an indication of voter fatigue after seven months of electoral campaigning – and also of anger with politics that could hamper Mr Macron’s reform drive.’