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Emmanuel Macron’s Party Sweeps French Parliamentary Elections

PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron's party, including untested novices, will be sweeping into the lower house of the French parliament, hogging a clear majority of seats after winning an overwhelming victory in Sunday's elections and clinching the young leader's hold on power.

Macron fulfilled his wish to disrupt politics as usual with a a new approach and new faces — including a farmer, a teacher and a math genius.

Image: Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron greets the crowd Sunday at a ceremony to mark the 77th anniversary of Gen. Charles de Gaulle's beginning of the French resistance after the fall of France to Nazi Germany. Macron's new party swept France's parliamentary elections on Sunday. Bertrand Guay / EPA

But he may be getting more than he bargained for with the entrance into parliament of loud voices from the ultra-left and of far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, both promising to fight his plans to overhaul French labor laws, one of the touchiest subjects in France.

"Through their vote, a wide majority of the French have chosen hope over anger," Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said, reiterating his "total" determination to work on major reforms in the coming months.

A minor reshuffle of the Cabinet, an obligatory move after parliamentary elections, is expected this week, perhaps as soon as Monday.

The May 7 election of the Macron, 39, himself untested, upended France's political landscape, a phenomenon that continued with the parliamentary victory of a party that didn't exist 14 months ago.

With the start of the new session on June 27, the novices within the ranks of Macron's Republic on the Move! party will be learning at high speed. Half of his party's candidates were drawn from civilian life, and half were women.

Pollsters projected that Republic on the Move! and its allies could take up to about 360 of the lower chamber's 577 seats. Official partial results confirmed the trend, showing them with 327 seats, with 33 seats yet to be counted. The party will have far more than the 289 seats needed for an absolute majority to carry out Macron's program.

Mainstream conservatives and their allies, the closest rivals, held their ground more strongly than expected. The Interior Ministry counted the Republicans and allied candidates with 131 seats.

The Socialist Party, which dominated the outgoing Assembly, was flattened by the unpopularity of former President Francois Hollande. With its allies, it could get fewer than 50 seats, according to projections. The stinging reality of defeat pushed party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, who lost in last week's first-round vote, to resign.