Anal­y­sis Ex­pec­ta­tions are huge – and there’s nowhere to hide

An­gelique Chrisafis

The Guardian - - INTERNATIONAL -

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

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