Macron defeats Le Pen in French election - Brexit Means podcast

Posted May 11, 2017

Mr Macron, who won the second round of France's presidential contest on Sunday with 66.1 per cent of the vote, needs to quickly transform his political movement into a vehicle capable of winning a majority or at least garnering enough seats in Parliament to govern or form a coalition.

All 577 seats in France's lower chamber are up for grabs in the country's two-part June 11 and June 18 parliamentary election.

New members are flocking to French President-elect Emmanuel Macron's party as it prepares for the elections to the National Assembly next month - starting with a change in its name.

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Although every recent French presidential election has been followed by the winner's party going on to take control of parliament, the outcome this time around has been made murky by Macron's lack of an established base. Macron has stepped down as head of the movement now that he's president-elect to be replaced by Catherine Barbaroux, who has a management background in both business and government ministries. Tuesday's offer by Valls to stand for En Marche in the two-stage legislative elections in June is the first high-profile defection since Macron's election win and could be a boost for him. "(Vall's) voice is not insignificant, but his candidacy will be treated like anyone else's".

The election offered a stark choice between Le Pen's plan to ditch the euro and break up the European Union, and the centrist Emmanuel Macron's pledge to deepen European Union integration.

Valls, a center-leaning politician in favor of relaxing labor protections, had already thrown his support behind Macron before the presidential election after losing to Benoit Hamon in the Socialist primary.

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The poor result triggered a fierce debate within the party on the opportunity of sticking to the left platform defended by Hamon, or to switch back to the more centrist views of Valls and his allies.

"I will be a candidate for the presidential majority and I wish to join his (Macron's) movement", Valls, who was prime minister in Hollande's administration between 2014 and 2016, told RTL radio. Party spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said Valls had not applied to the party's selection committee and had 24 hours left to do so. I want Emmanuel Macron, his government and his majority to succeed, for France.

Whilst the president has the most power in the French system, the prime minister is largely in charge of implementing the president's domestic policies.

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Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed.