Socialists Secure Majority in France

Strong showing leaves Francois Hollande free to implement policy
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2012 5:06 AM CDT
In an embarrassment for the Socialists, Segolene Royal lost her controversial campaign for a parliamentary seat Sunday, quashing her hopes of becoming speaker of the National Assembly.   (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
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(Newser) – As predicted, the left coalition led by the Socialist Party has cruised to a majority win in the National Assembly's lower house, taking 314 of 577 seats, reports the Wall Street Journal. The win gives the Socialists, who already control the upper-house Senate, total control of the National Assembly—granting newly elected President François Hollande freedom to pursue policies of growth over austerity and freeing his party from having to get the backing of the Greens and far-left parties.

"This new solid and large majority will allow us to vote in laws of change and places upon us great responsibilities in France and Europe," Hollande's foreign minister said. But it was a bad night for one Socialist: Segolene Royal, Hollande's former partner and mother of his four children. She was defeated by a dissident member of the same party, ending the former party leader's hopes of becoming speaker of the National Assembly. The far-right Front National won its first National Assembly seats in nearly a quarter century, including one for Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the granddaughter of Front National Founder Jean Marie Le Pen, who is, at 22 years old, the youngest MP in modern French history, notes the Telegraph.

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