The Macron Landslide

French President Emmanuel Macrons new political party, La République en Marche, is set to win a huge majority in the National Assembly. Philippe Aghion of the College de France explains why.

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Transcript

When French President Emmanuel Macron created his movement “En Marche” in April 2016, his aim was to do away with the old left-right divide in French politics. Against all odds, he did it.

The French voting process in parliamentary elections takes place in two rounds.

The first round on Sunday was already a big victory for Macron’s new center party, which won 33% of the votes, well ahead of the main traditional parties.

But what is even more dazzling are the projections for the second round: more than 400 seats out of 577 for Macron’s party, and less than 100 seats for the right-wing party, and all the other parties between 10 and 25 seats.

How can a party with 33% of the votes in the first round win in such a landslide in the second round?

The explanation is that only candidates winning more than 12.5% of registered voters in each district in the first round can participate in the second. The low turnout (less than 50%) for the first round means that two only candidates at most can make it to the second round in each district.

So in the end, this means that in all districts the second round is a duel between Macron’s party, “En Marche !”, on the one hand, and another party, on the other hand. When the other party is from the right, then left-wing parties and voters support Macron. When the other party is from the left, it is the right-wing parties and voters who support Macron.

Overall, Macron’s center party should come out from these parliamentary elections with a strong majority to transform France. Macron has chance to boost the French economy while offering better protection and education to French citizens.