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Socialists win decisive majority

UMP loses 100 seats as Morano, Alliot-Marie and Guéant beaten / Royal and Lang also out / National Front wins 2 seats

PRESIDENT Hollande has been given a decisive majority in the new Assemblée Nationale after the Parti Socialiste returned 314 MPs in the election, well ahead of the 289 needed.

However, it came at the cost of losing 2007 Socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal and former minister and party stalwart Jack Lang - and seeing the Front National win two seats in the new parliament; although party leader Marine Le Pen was beaten by 118 votes in Hénin-Beaumont, Pas-de-Calais.

The results cost the UMP more than 100 MPs - it now has 215 - and left the PS with the "biggest score we have ever had in the National Assembly" as one delighted MP said.

Record low numbers bothered to vote, with abstention reaching 44.44%. It had been just 19.65% in the second round of the presidential election on May 6.

The election gives the socialists control of the parliament for the first time since the presidency of François Mitterrand in 1981 and it also has control of the Sénat and the presidency.

In addition, Hollande and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will not need to base their policies on the continuing support of the 17 Ecology Party MPs and the 10 Front de Gauche.

It was a record score for the ecologists, who will now be able to form an official groupe in parliament having gained more than the 15 MPs needed.

Former ministers in the Sarkozy government paid the price with former Work and Training Minister Nadine Morano beaten at Toul, Meurthe-et-Moselle, former Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie beaten in Biarritz and former Interior Minister Claude Guéant failing to win in Hauts-de-Seine.

Former Industry and Tourism Minister Frédéric Lefebvre was beaten in the US and Canada constituency of the French abroad, with eight of the 11 seats going to the Left.

Modem leader François Bayrou also lost his seat in Béarn in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques - and his party now has just two MPs.

The PS suffered a severe setback in La Rochelle where Royal lost to dissident socialist Olivier Falorni, who contested her right to claim the seat. In the Vosges, former Mitterrand Culture Minister Jack Lang lost out by several hundred votes to the UMP after Le Pen called on FN supporters to vote against him.

The two new Front National MPs are Marine Le Pen's neice Marion Maréchal Le Pen who won in Carpentras (Vaucluse) and becomes, at 22, the youngest MP and lawyer Gilbert Collard who won in the Gard.

It is the first time the party has had an MP since 1997 when Jean-Marie Chevallier was elected, although his election was voided the next year.

Each MP is paid €5,189.27 a month with €6,412 a month expenses and has the right to free first-class travel on SNCF, 80 flights a year to their constituency and 12 flights elsewhere in France. They can also call on a fleet of 20 chauffeur-driven cars for travel within Paris.

To find the results in your area, check the official government website at

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