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Tough task ahead as Macron basks in win

Emmanuel Macron took his first steps as France’s president-elect on Monday but faces a tough task establishing a team that can govern effectively.

His party has announced it is changing its name from En Marche to Republique En Marche (Republic on the Move).

It must pick candidates quickly ahead of parliamentary elections on 11 and 18 June. It wants to be the biggest party but at the moment has no seats at all.

Mr Macron beat the far right’s Marine Le Pen by 66.1% to 33.9% on Sunday.

But a low turnout and a large number of spoiled or blank votes showed disillusionment among many, particularly on the far left, at the choice they were given.

Ms Le Pen has also signalled there will be a change to her National Front party. There are suggestions from its officials, too, that it will change its name. But she has vowed to lead the “new force” into the parliamentary elections.

How difficult could it be for Mr Macron to govern?

He faces two main problems – a complete lack of representation in parliament and a deeply divided country.

Apart from being, at 39, the country’s youngest president, he is also the first from outside the two main parties since the founding of the modern republic in 1958.

Although he won support, sometimes grudgingly, from the established Socialists and Republicans, much of it stemmed from the need to beat Ms Le Pen. The conservative Republicans in particular will be looking for a strong showing in the parliamentary polls.

How to do the opinion polls stack up?

Polls released shortly after Mr Macron’s victory suggested he and his allies in the centrist Modem party would come out top in the first round on 11 June, with 24%-26% of the vote.

Both the Republicans and National Front would have about 22%, the far-left France Unbowed 13%-15% and the Socialists, still smarting from François Hollande’s unpopularity, 9%.

But the first-past-the-post system means it is difficult to gauge seat numbers. The National Front only has two seats and despite its candidate’s performance in the presidential election, one poll suggested it might only get 15-25 in the 577 seat parliament.

Such uncertainty means Mr Macron might well be faced with a serious amount of horse trading to find allies to buy into his manifesto.

Another opinion poll in Le Figaro on Monday suggested many French people think this no bad thing.

Source: BBC

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