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August 17, 2022

Hollande’s Socialists win France majority

French President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party has won enough seats in parliamentary elections to form an absolute majority, the BBC informs. With final results still to be declared, the Socialists look set to win between 313 and 315 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly. But former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP has seen its share fall from 304 to an estimated 214 seats. It gives the president strong backing for his tax-and-spend programme. These results mean the Socialists will not have to rely on the support of the Greens or far left to push through their plans to hire more public workers and refocus EU fiscal efforts away from their emphasis on austerity. The Popular Right, the right-leaning allies of the UMP, paid the biggest price. Only 19 of their 39 deputies were re-elected and many of those defeated will be tempted by the coming overtures of Marine Le Pen.The most intriguing story of the election was in the western town of La Rochelle, where the president’s former partner Segolene Royal, the mother of his four children, was defeated. Her campaign was torpedoed last week by the First Lady, Valerie Trierweiler, who tweeted her support for Olivier Falorni, a dissident Socialist running against her. Conceding defeat Ms Royal spoke of “political treachery”. Elsewhere the National Front won two seats for the first time since the mid-1980s, reflecting the growing wave of support across the continent for anti-immigrant, anti-European parties.The party leader Marine Le Pen is contesting a narrow defeat in the northern town of Henin Beaumont, with perhaps just 100 votes the difference between her and the Socialist candidate. But in Carpentras in the south her niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, becomes the country’s youngest ever MP at the age of just 22.

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