French Parliamentary Election Results: Francois Hollande Gains Absolute Control
The French went to the polls again on Sunday for the fourth time in less than two months. After the Socialist victory of François Hollande in May, the Socialists have now won the absolute majority at the Parliament.
With 346 seats for the leftist against 228 for the right, this victory hasn't been seen for the Socialists since 1981. Not only did they win the presidency and the Parliament, the Socialists also are controlling every level of the French state (the senate, European Parliament, régions and départements.)
Implementing Hollande’s policy will as a result be much easier with this large majority.
This result also shows the consistency of the French people in their want for change: three ministers of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy were defeated (Nadine Morano, Claude Guéand and Michèle Alliot-Marie).
While some were wary of the National Front (the far right-party of Marine Le Pen won two seats, for the first time in a majority vote) they can be relieved to see that leaders of Sarkozy’s government lost their seat to a socialist. Sarkozy’s party had been divided between the traditional republican and “Gaullist” members of the government and others at the further right of the party supporting the idea of becoming closer to the National Front voters.
Ex-minister Nadine Morano even said in an interview to the nationalist and far-right newspaper Minute she “shared values” with the National Front. On Sunday, she was defeated in the Meurthe-et-Moselle district, revealing that this strategy of rallying with themes of the National Front is meant to lose. Even though the far-right party got 18.3% of the votes in the first round of the presidential elections, they didn’t succeed as much as they expected to.
This shows that the party might have taken advantage of an anti-establishment protest vote but all their voters are not ready to give them more power at the parliament. Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, lost to a socialist candidate in the northern district of Hénin-Baumont. With two seats, the National Front will have more voice in the media and can propose laws, but their two out of 577 total deputy count won't add much weight to broad parliament voting.
Still, despite Hollande’s 25 ministers being elected in this race, the new president's name didn't help all of those connected to him win out: in the La Rochelle district, 2007 presidential candidate Hollande ex-wife was defeated. After becoming the front-runner against Sarkozy in 2007, she lost the nomination to the Socialist Party to Martine Aubry one year later.
In late 2011, she lost the primary of her party to her ex-husband(with only 7% of the votes) who later defeated her ex-opponent.
Because she supported François Hollande she was to become speaker of the House (the perchoir) under the condition she was elected representative. While she had been a representative in the Deux-Sèves district until 2007 she decided to run in La Rochelle district against another socialist, deputy mayor and local media personality Olivier Falorni. As the latter decided to run no matter what the party asked him (he became a dissident) a harsh battle began. Soon replaced with drama.