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Socialists win majority in French parliament

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Socialist Party has won a majority in French parliamentary election run-off on Sunday.
The Socialists and their left-wing allies have won between 312 and 326 seats, while the Union for a Popular Movement is projected to win about a hundred seats less.

To form a non-coalition Cabinet the Socialists need 289 parliamentary seats.

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Socialists set for majority in French parliament

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France voted in a parliamentary run-off on Sunday expected to give President Francois Hollande’s Socialist party a majority despite low turnout, strengthening his hand in battles over euro zone crisis policy.

The clear majority that surveys predict, freeing Hollande from reliance on nor eurosceptic hard leftists, as polls suggest, would be a boon as he prepares legislation to pare back the deficit and to ratify an EU fiscal discipline pact.

Initial results will be released at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT), as early results come in from a Greek election where victory for the anti-austerity SYRIZA party could undermine its euro zone membership and send shockwaves through financial markets.

Opinion polls since last Sunday’s first round suggest Hollande’s Socialists stand a good chance of achieving the 289 seats needed for a majority in the National Assembly, even without adding seats from their allies in the Greens Party.

Added to their control of the Senate and the presidency, that would give the Socialists more power than they have ever held and should leave Hollande’s largely social democratic and pro-Europe cabinet broadly intact.

The possible entry of Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front into parliament for the first time since the mid-1980s with up to three seats would be no more than an irritation.

But the Socialists have been concerned that low turnout might weigh on their score. Turnout at 5 p.m. was 46.2 percent, 3 percentage points down on the 2007 election and below that of last Sunday, when the final turnout hit a new low at 57 percent.

Jun 17, 2012

 

Reuters, RIA,VOR.