Turnout worries for Macron ahead of election


After the Brexit vote and Donald Trump's victory in the USA presidential election, Rutte victory in the parliamentary election and rising French political star Macron dashed hopes of populists, advocates of anti-EU platform, to reign key European countries.

In a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Macron said both sides discussed ways to outline a common working plan on bilateral and European issues ahead of the European Council scheduled for next week.

The main worry for the new government is abstentionism, which hit a historic almost 60-year high in the first round of 51.3 percent.

The party of France's newly elected President Emanuel Macron is expected to win the biggest majority since the creation of France's Fifth Republic in 1958, when the nation goes to the polls for the last time in this election cycle on Sunday, June 18.

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Curious crowds gathered in the northern seaside town of Le Touquet where Macron cast a ballot Sunday morning in the second round of elections for the 577-seat National Assembly.

"Desperately seeking an opposition", said the front page of Le Parisien newspaper on Saturday.

Around half of LREM's parliamentary candidates have never held political office and come from the fields of academia, business or local activism.

"France is back", was the immediate reaction of Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, nearly suggesting that this parliamentary election signals the rediscovery of the country's libertarian credentials. They include a mathematician, a bullfighter and a former Rwandan orphan.

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The poll projected the conservative The Republicans party and its allies would be the leading opposition grouping with between 70 and 90 seats, while the Socialist Party, in power until last month, would secure just 20-30 seats. Also controversial is his move to strengthen anti-terror legislation, which has concerned human rights groups, but which he believes is necessary following the terror attacks, perpetrated by lone wolves or in a coordinated manner, which have taken place in France in the past couple of years.

The Republicans and its right-wing allies are set to form the main opposition to REM, with the poll putting them on course to win between 60 and 80 seats.

Hard-left parties would capture between 14 and 25 seats and the National Front between one and six with other fringe candidates taking between three and seven.

When is the French legislative election?

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