How Macron Beat The Establishment in France’s Legislative Elections

By Cedric SamCedric Sam, Hayley WarrenHayley Warren and Anne SwardsonAnne Swardson

President Emmanuel Macron’s party and its allies won 350 out of 577 seats in France’s lower house, cementing a legislative majority that will easily allow him to pass his reform program. The Republic on the Move (LREM) party, which is barely over a year old, obtained the largest margin of any party since 2002.

Dominating parliament

In 2012, the Socialists won control of the National Assembly, the lower house. In 2007, it was the center-right, now called the Republicans. This time around, the Socialists and their allies won only 45 seats, a near-wipeout. The Republicans and aligned parties obtained 136 seats, making them the largest opposition bloc, according to the Interior Ministry. Jean-Luc Melenchon’s France Unbowed, with its Communist allies, was just behind the Socialists at 27 seats, while Marine Le Pen’s National Front got eight seats, from two in the last parliament. 

577

577

577

France Unbowed
27
Socialists
45
Republic on the Move
350
The Republicans
136
Others
11
National Front
8

2012

Left Front
10
Socialists
331
Radicals
6
UMP
220
Others
8
National Front
2

2007

Far-left
7
Communists
30
Socialists
186
UMP
347
Others
3
Greens
4

France’s changing colors

Even with its substantial majority, Macron’s LREM didn’t do as well as polls had predicted. The Republicans in particular had support in the center and east of the country.

Republic on the Move
The Republicans
Socialists
France Unbowed
National Front
Others

Paris

Paris

Paris

Too many elections, not enough votes

Fewer than one in every two French people voted in the second round, the lowest turnout rate ever in the 59-year-old Fifth Republic. It was the fourth time voters were asked to come to the polls in six weeks and their fatigue showed.

1962

1968

1973

1978

84.7%

1981

1986

1988

1993

1997

2002

2007

2012

2017

42.6%

84.7

90% turnout rate

75

42.6

60

45

30

15

0

1962

’68

’73

’78

’81

’86

’88

’93

’97

’02

’07

’12

2017

84.7

90% turnout rate

75

60

42.6

45

30

15

0

1962

’68

’73

’78

’81

’86

’88

’93

’97

’02

’07

’12

2017