Analysis Expectations are huge – and there’s nowhere to hide
Emmanuel Macron’s outsider bid to dynamite traditional French party politics appears to have paid off in record time. His fledgling centrist movement and its allies were on course to win a clear majority as results were being counted in the legislative elections last night. Just over a year after Macron founded a political movement that was “neither right nor left”, he has succeeded in seriously limiting the traditional left and right parties.
But now that Macron’s centrist grouping has an absolute majority, the stakes could not be higher for the new president. He has vowed to reconcile the people with a new, honest and irreproachable political class, and to streamline the state and loosen strict labour laws in favour of flexibility for businesses, which he argued would transform the labour market and help tackle the scourge of mass unemployment. With such an enormous parliament majority, all the cards are in his hands. Expectations could not be higher and there is nowhere for him to hide.
Yet the historic low turnout in the election - around 43%, which meant more than half of French voters failed to turn up - cast a dark shadow. A year ago, when Macron, the rebellious former economy minister and rank outsider, announced he would run for president, he said he would overhaul