Macron's party wins landslide majority in parliament: final results

A volunteer holds an election card during the final round of parliamentary elections at a polling station in Marseille

The move came after Macron's La République en Marche party and its centrist ally won 350 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macrons-party-on-track-for-dominant-win-in-french-parliament-2017-06-18) in the final round of voting on Sunday.

The result, based on official figures and poll projections, fully redraws France's political landscape, sidelining the Socialists and Republicans that alternated in power for decades.

Socialist leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis admitted a "historic defeat" for his party and resigned from his post.

Macron, France's youngest-ever president at 39, asked close ally Richard Ferrand, who is embroiled in a conflict of interest scandal, to leave his cabinet and seek the leadership of the ruling Republic on the Move (REM) party in parliament.

His party dominated France's traditional parties, the rightwing Republicans and Socialists, but also the far-right National Front (FN) of defeated presidential candidate Marine Le Pen which fell far short of its target.

Le Pen entered parliament for the first time in her career in one of eight seats won by the FN.

Sunday's high abstention rate means Macron will also have to tread carefully with reforms in a country with muscular trade unions and a history of street protests that have forced many a government to dilute new legislation.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Macron on winning a "clear parliamentary majority" in elections Sunday, her spokesman said.

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"Macron will need to tread carefully, with some questioning the validity of his mandate on a 45 percent turnout, the lowest in fifty years", said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Many victorious members of parliament have never held office before.

Ms Le Pen's victory in the northern former coalmining town of Henin-Beaumont was a rare bright spot for her nationalist and anti-EU party that was once hoping to emerge as the principal opposition to Mr Macron. He was immediately renamed to his job and is in charge of forming a government by Wednesday afternoon, the French presidency said in a statement.

Jean-Luc Melenchon's new hard-left movement, France Unbowed, was projected to win around 19 seats.

Since the 2002 election, the number of women in the assembly has risen from 12.3 per cent to 38.6 per cent this time.

Macron was a newcomer to party politics when he formed LREM. "This majority will have a mission: to work for France", the PM said.

He said: "There is a strong majority, there's a will for things to change". After the first round of elections a week ago, some anticipated that more than 400 seats would be won by the two parties.

Around half of REM's candidates are virtual unknowns drawn from diverse fields of academia, business or local activism.

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