Macron’s party marches on

Group of men and women with President Macron and two French flags
President Macron and his government will have a strong majority in the new Assemblée Nationale

New president could have support from 75% of the MPs in new Assemblée Nationale – but abstentions hit 31%

With more than 30% of the vote in the first round of the French legislative elections, President Macron’s La République En Marche group are clear leaders, with the Républicains and allied Right groups next.

If carried through to next weekend’s second round it would mean the new Assemblée Nationale would have 75.4% En Marche MPs, 15.60% Les Républicains, 4.33% Parti Socialiste and 2.25% Front National.

However, way ahead of both parties were the number of abstentions which hit a record 51.29% of those eligible to vote – and meant that just under 11% of the population backed En Marche.

As Franceinfo pointed out, if France was a commune of 100 people, less than 11 would have voted En Marche, just seven for Les Republicains and four each for the Parti Socialiste and Front National.

In all, just 33 people would have voted, 18 would not have had the right to vote and 10 were not on the voting register.

The new Assemblée Nationale will be full of new faces - and women as 246 are in leading positions for the next round. The hundreds of ‘ordinary men and women’ entering front-line politics for the first time with LREM – a political movement that has only existed about a year – have knocked out some big names from previous governments.

Former Hollande education minister and Parti Socialiste presidential candidate Benoît Hamon is gone, as is former culture minister Aurélie Filippetti, along with PS general secretary Jean-Christophe Cambadélis and two EELV green leaders, Cécile Duflot and Emmanuelle Cosse.

Rama Yade – at one time France’s favourite politician and Sarkozy sports minister – is also out.

Former Sarkozy guru and speechwriter Henri Guaino was well beaten in Paris 2nd constituency but won the night's prize for bad loser, saying on TV the “the voters make me want to vomit”.

Marine Le Pen is well ahead in her bid to win a seat at Hénin-Beaumont, with 46% of the vote, but the election was a disaster for her party as its vote slumped across the country.

In the run-up to the presidential election it was confidently looking to having 30 or 40 MPs but now looks likely to have two or three. Ms Le Pen looks well set, but two other hopefuls, Florian Philippot and Louis Aliot, face fights.

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