Daily Management Review

The Start Of Political Upheaval For France Could Be Marked By Macron Victory


The Start Of Political Upheaval For France Could Be Marked By Macron Victory
As Emmanuel Macron’s inability to form a parliamentary majority threatens to undermine his authority both domestically and across Europe, France's political course is likely to remain far from certain even with a win for presumed victor Emmanuel Macron.
Dominique Reynié, professor of political science at the Sciences Po institute in Paris, said that as the successful candidate waits to see if they can garner a large enough parliamentary majority in June's legislative election to enact change, Sunday's second round runoff will mark the start of a period of tension for the country.
"I'm not worried about Macron's ability to win, but the question surrounds what kind of turnout he will achieve and what his ability to gain a majority in the June election will be," explained Reynié.
Lead anywhere from a 59 percent to a 64 percent lead on his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen is expected by polls to go for centrist Macron.
Reynié suggests that this lead will do little to boost Macron's authority in government. If  he is to form a majority when France once again heads to the polls on June 11 and June 18 to elect the 577 members of its National Assembly, the independent will have to gain significant support from other parties.
"It will all depend on his margin of victory. A 55 to 45 percent win for Macron would be a disaster. Even 60 to 40 is not at all a triumph; a 20 percent margin would be very difficult.
"It would be a crisis. It is not normal and would be a problem both on the streets of France and for Europe," said Reynié.
Compared to Le Pen's 216, Macron's En March!, or Onwards! party, achieved a majority in 240 constituencies in the first round of voting. Reynié says, that this is simply not enough.
"The smaller Macron's majority the harder it will be for him to win the general election in June. He needs support; it is not possible to have power as President without support.
"This could cause parliament to be largely fragmented like in the first round, with discussions taking place in fractured groups. Macron will have to negotiate with MPs and will be fragile and unpopular."
Fellow presidential hopefuls Jean-Luc Melenchon obtained 67 seats, Francois Fillon 53 and Benoit Hamon zero. In order for his polices to receive approval, they would need to align themselves with Macron.
While other candidates have been less willing to offer him their support, in a bid to ward off rising support for Eurosceptic Le Pen, former opponent Fillon spoke out for his voters to back Macron.
"The context has changed," Marjorie Alexandre, confederal assistant at workers union Force Ouvriere, said the day after protestors took to the streets of France for traditional pre-election May Day protests.
"We are here to defend workers' particular rights; we are not here to defend the rights of the nation," she said, arguing that she would not encourage members to support Macron in order to stave off Le Pen.