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French Legislative Election Bulletin

19 juin 2017





French Legislative Election Bulletin

Grayling France PA team has analysed the Legislative elections' results and impact.

La République en Marche! (Republic on the Move!) and its allies from the centrist Modem reached the absolute majority of 289 seats by winning 350 seats. The Republicans (Les Républicains) and its allies from the UDI won 137 seats, the Socialist Party won 44 seats, France Unbowed and the Communist party 27 seats. 

, “How Macron Beat The Establishment in France's Legislative Elections”,




Grayling Insights – Analysis after the 2nd round of the French Legislative Election
Victory of Emmanuel Macron's Republic On the Move! party

The Public Affairs team of Grayling France provides key insights of the 2nd round of the French Legislative Election., “How Macron Beat The Establishment in France's Legislative Elections”,


Map of the French Constituencies. the "yellow" represents the "République en Marche!" and its allies, the "blue" represents "The Républicans" and its allies from the centrist UDI, the "pink" represents the Socialist Party, and the "red" represents the France Unbowed and the Communist party, finally the "Grey" the National Front.


France held second round of legislative elections yesterday. The French president Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist party ("République en Marche!") took an absolute majority in parliament (289 seats for absolute majority). The stakes were especially high for newly elected president Emmanuel Macron, who needs a majority if he is to push through his campaign platform.

Results released showed Macron’s one-year-old "La République En Marche!" (LREM ) and ally MoDem winning 350 seats (49.2 % of the total votes). In details, "La République en Marche!" has 308 seats and the Modem 42 seats. "République en Marche!" alone has reached the absolute majority.This majority is not as important as expected after the first round as the forecast foresaw more than 400 seats for the Republic on the Move!

"Les Républicains" (The Republicans, right wing political party) and its allies of the centrist party “UDI” arrived second with 137 seats, and the far-right Front National won 8 seats. The Socialist party – the party of Macron’s predecessor Francois Hollande – took just 44 seats with its allies.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s new hard-left movement, France Unbowed (France Insoumise), win 27 seats with the Comunist Party–enough to form a parliamentary group that requires 15 MPs.

The victory of Macron’s party will redraw the landscape of French politics. France will then be run by both a new president and a new party. Emmanuel Macron, who has long promised a “renewal of political life,” will have successfully persuaded voters to give him relatively free rein in the attempt.

The first opposition party is still the Republicans  as it was the case in the 2012 legislative election. However, there were 199 Republicans MPs in the 2012 legislative election. The fact that Emmannuel Macron has formed a government with political figures from the Republicans party may have a role in this low score. The Republicans electorate had in some extent vote for candidates from "La République en Marche!"

The socialist party reached a very low score. In 2012, the socialist party arrived first with 258 seats. After 5 years as the first political party in the National Assembly, the socialist party has suffered the most from "La République en Marche!" landslide.

National Front that reached the Second round of the Presidential election will not have a parliamentary group though the National Front reached one of its best score ever. Marine Le Pen, President of the National Front will enter for the first time into the National Assembly. It suggests that National Front electorate for a large part did not cast a vote. Abstention rate for National Front supporters should be very high.

The result was marred by a record low voter turnout of just 42.64%. This high abstention questions the legitimacy of the newly elected MPs especially from "La République en Marche!" majority.


Political Reactions after the 2nd round


Following the election, Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe stated that French people gave a clear majority to the President Macron and to the Government.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said French voters have "in their vast majority preferred hope to anger, optimism to pessimsim, confidence to withdrawal". "A year ago, no one would have imagined political renewal like this. We owe it to the drive of the president of the republic to give new life to democracy. We owe it, too, to the French people, who wanted to give the national representation a new face," PM Philippe said.
He also mentioned that the abstention rate requires the Government to succeed. The majority will have to "be exemplary". Prime Minister also stated the majority will be opened. The Republic on the Move! will welcome other MPs that want to join the majority.

Christophe Castaner, the government spokesman who has won his own race said voters “have shown their demanding natures, they did not what to give a blank cheque” to Macron’s camp. “We can interpret this as an additional responsibility and it will allow Emmanuel Macron, [Prime Minister] Edouard Philippe to never forget that deep down there is no victory tonight and the real victory will be in five years when things will really have changed".



François Baroin (right wing political party), The Republicans' leader for the legislative election saluted "Macron's victory". He mentioned though that The Republicans gained enough MPs to further the debate on right-wing convictions.



Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, First Secretary of the Socialist Party, stated that the right and the left lost by far as well as the populists. Despite the abstention, "the triumph of Emmanuel Macron is unquestionnable". He also mentioned his resignation from the head of the Socialist Party.



Jean-Luc Mélenchon from the Unbowed France (France Insoumise) who was elected stated that "French people has now a group in the National Assembly". He also highlighted the fact that the high abstention rate shows that the people has just "gone on civic strike".



Marine Le Pen from the National Front was elected for the first time in the National Assembly. She stated that the National Front is the "only force of resistance" She added that "it is necessary for democracy to adopt proportional representation".


Key results


In line with Presidential election when neither right wing political party nor the Socialist Party were in the run off, the legislative elections are unprecedented

First of all, every/ almost all Ministers that were also candidates for the legislative election managed to be elected: Junior Minister in charge of Digital, Mounir Mahjoubi (LREM, Paris) scored 51.5%, Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire (Eure) reached 64.53%, State secretary, Christophe Castaner, the government spokesman, scored 61.6%, Marielle de Sarnez, Delegate Minister of European Affairs arrived first with 63.5%, Richard Ferrand, Minister for Territorial cohesion managed to be first with 56%. Annick Girardin, Minister for overseas scored 51.9%.

Former Socialist’s Ministers who claim their support to Emmanuel Macron had mixed results such as Marisol Touraine (Indre-et-Loire, Former socialist Minister for Health), and Myriam El-Khomri (Labour Minister within Hollande’s Government)  who lost. On the contrary, Stéphane Le Foll (Sarthe, Former Minister for Agriculture under Hollande’s presidential term); Sylvia Pinel (Tarn-et-Garonne, Former Minister for Housing), Manuel Valls (Former Socialist Prime Minister) won.

Several leading MPs did not manage to be reelected especially from the Socialist party such as Benoit Hamon (candidate for the Socialist Party in the 2017 presidential election) who was not at the second round as the President of the Socialist Party, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis or Matthias Fekl (State secretary for Commerce and tourism and Interior Minister within Hollande’s Government); former Minister of Education, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem arrived second. From the Republicans, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (Paris) arrived second as Gilles Boyer (former campaign director of Alain Juppé).


It is worth noting that most National Assembly Committees’ president lost. Former President of the Committee for Social Affairs, Catherine Lemorton (Socialist party, Haute-Garonne) was not at the second round as the former president of Sustainable development Committee, Jean-Paul Chanteguet (Socialist party, Indre), the President of the Law Committee, Dominique Raimbourg (Socialist party, Loire-Atlantique) and the President of Foreign policy Committee, Elisabeth Guigou (Socialist Party, Seine-Saint-Denis).

Patrick Bloche (socialist party, Paris) former president of the Culture committee arrived second; Fréderique Massat (Socialist party, Arriège) former President of the Economy committee did not stand for her reelection.

The President of the Finance Committee who belongs to the Republicans Party, Gilles Carrez (Val-de-Marne) manage to be reelected as the general rapporteur for Budget, Valérie Rabault (Socialist party, Tarn-et-Garonne) won with more than 55%.

Other Key leading MPs (from The Socialist Party or the Republicans ), that can be considered as specialist in their field of expertise had mixed results.

In the field of budget and finance, Christophe Bouillon (Socialist Party, Seine-Maritime) won as Eric Woerth (The Republicans, Oise. He was former Budget Minister and former Social affairs Minister within Sarkozy's government); Véronique Louwagie (The Republicans,Orne). Charles de Courson (UDI (centrist), Marne) were reelected. He is one of the main expert in the Assembly on finance and budget related issues. Dominique Lefebvre (socialist party, val-d’Oise), specialist on Budget related topics, did not reach the second round.  Christian Jacob (Seine-et-Marne), last president of the Republicans group in the National Assembly, won the election.

Laure de La Raudière (The Republicans, Eure-et-Loir) who is one of the main expert on digital was reelected with more than 56%. Lionel Tardy (The Republicans, Haute-Savoie) who is also a specialist on digital topics lost.

On environmental/energy issues, it is worth noting that Julien Aubert (Republicans, Vaucluse) was reelected as Martial Saddier (The Republicans, Haute-Savoie) and Bertrand Pancher (Republicans, Meuse, President of the association "Decider Ensemble").

On Social security related topics, Catherine Vautrin (The Republicans, Marne) arrived second with 49%. She was one of the Vice-president in the National Assembly. Gérard Bapt (Socialist party, Haute-Garonne) who has been elected since 1978, lost at the first round. He was the rapporteur for the Social Security Bills at the National Assembly. Jean-Pierre Door (the Republicans, Loiret) and Jean-Louis Touraine from the Republic on the Move ! political party arrived first.

Expectations for the next National Assembly

In the coming days, the National Assembly will elect its President as well as Presidents of Committees. President of each parliamentary group will also be elected. 


Regarding the fact that a lot of newcomers in politics have been elected, forecasts are really hard to make.


Several names have emerged for being the next National Assembly President, who will come from the Republique En Marche!. Names such as Stéphane Travert (LREM, Manche) or François de RUGY (LREM, Loire Atlantique) are suggested.


Besides, the next president of the "La République en Marche!" group will have a decisive role in managing a wide majority that is composed of a lot of newcomers. Stéphane Travert, fomer member of the Socialist party, could be the next President of this national assembly group.

Impact on Public Affairs

This Legislative election will deeply impact public affairs in France. The results illustrate a policy renewal.

"La République en Marche!" MPs include an historic number of newcomers to parliamentary politics. From 50% to 60% come from the private sector. It is worth noting that among the 525 candidates that were invested by "La République en Marche!" party, 281 had never held any political mandate. Only 5 percent — 24 — were lawmakers in the outgoing parliament. More than 17% of the candidates are business managers (mainly SMEs); 20% are senior executive; 12% are liberal professions. Among the 577 candidates, 40% are women. They were 26% in 2012 legislative election. 

Therefore, professional backgrounds of The "République en Marche!" candidates suggest that several topics would be at the core of the National Assembly work. Issues related to enterprises should be in the frontline of the work of the National Assembly as many MPs came from the private sector. Environmental related issues as well as digital and economy, could also be key topics in the work of the National Assembly.

Nevertheless, the National Assembly will be dominated by a lot of inexperienced MPs. This could give Emmanuel Macron relatively wide leeway to enact most of his agenda. The National Assembly might become a mere registry chamber in the beginning. The Government should have few difficulty to pass its draft bills over a first phase. On the contrary, a bill drafted by the opposition or amendments that are not in line with Government’s agenda will have very few chance to pass. According to Emmanuel Macron when he ran for the presidential election, "every candidate who will be investigating will sign with me the contract with the nation. That is to say, he is committed to voting with me the main projects". The candidates to become MPs for Macron's party had to fulfill a document with a declaration on their honour to support the Government

On the other hand, the "République en Marche!" party may face difficulties in the beginning due to abundance of inexperienced members. President of "La République en Marche!" group as well as President of the Committees will have a key role in managing parliamentarian work. MPs that do not come from political world for a large part, would be keen on debating draft bills, reports, amendments in a way that did not exclude opposition input. Because of party discipline, it is usualy reported that MPs do not get the opportunity to work together to improve the legislation. President of the "République en Marche!" group will be decisive in maintaining the party discipline.

It needs to keep in mind that Article 27 of the French Constitution states that" All mandatory instructions are null and void. The right to vote of the members of Parliament is personal". Theoritically, MPs do not vote as a group. 

Thus, MPs especially from the "République en Marche!" party must not be set aside from public affairs activities. The newcomers to parliamentary politics will be seeking for pieces of information, explanation. This represents an opportunity to build new relationships with MPs.

What are the next steps?

June 27th
Beginning of the new parliamentary term

June 28th
Election of the president of the National Assembly


June 29th

Election of National Assembly committees' presidents

July 4th
General policy speech by Edouard Philippe at the National Assembly

September 24th
Senatorial elections

October to December
Examination of the Budget bill and Social Security bill



For more information:

Grayling is a leading global communications group specializing in Public Relations, Government Relations and Public Affairs, Investor Relations and Events Management - with 50+ offices in 30+ countries across Europe, the US, the Middle-East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

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