It appears that the Parti socialiste of newly elected French president François Hollande has won an absolute majority in today’s parliamentary elections — they will control 290 seats, a slim majority, in the Assemblée nationale. This will give Hollande, and his prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, a clear path to implement their pro-growth program of higher taxes and fewer budget cuts for France, following in the longtime French trend of voters handing a parliamentary majority in June to the party whose president they have elected in May (as happened in 1995 and 2002 for Jacques Chirac and in 2007 for Nicolas Sarkozy).
Front national leader Marine Le Pen appears to have lost her race in Pas-de-Calais 11 by the slimmest of margins to the Parti socialiste candidate, Phillippe Kemel. Meanwhile Marion Maréchal Le Pen — the granddaughter of former Front national leader Jean-Marie Le Pen — appears to have won her seat in Vaucluse 3, giving the Front national its first parliamentary seat since 1998.
Centrist Mouvement démocrate leader and former presidential candidate François Bayrou has lost his race in the seat he had held in Pyrénées-Atlantiques 2 — often with the full support of the center-right — since 1986. His MoDem colleague, Jean Lasalle, however, appears to have held on to his own seat in Pyrénées-Atlantiques 4.
And in the most keenly watched race of the day, Olivier Falorni has won a crushing 62% to 37% victory over Ségolène Royal, the former partner of the president, the mother of his children and the Parti socialiste‘s 2007 presidential candidate. Falorni is a local renegade Socialist, and a tweet of support from Hollande’s current partner Valérie Trierweiler in support of Falorni (in opposition to the entire high guard of the Parti socialiste) erupted into a firestorm earlier this week that threatened to overshadow the second round altogether. Hollande will have to find a new role for Royal, who had been touted as the next president of the Assemblée nationale.
Former foreign minister Michèle Alliot-Marie, who resigned for in artful comments and other missteps during the anti-Ben Ali revolution in Tunisia in early 2011, has been narrowly defeated by Parti socialiste candidate Sylviane Alaux in Pyrénées-Atlantiques 6. In Nord 21, Jean-Louis Borloo, the leader of the Radical Party and a center-right ally, will hold on.