French parties face battle for survival in June parliamentary elections

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France goes back to the polls next month for crucial legislative elections to decide the composition of the 577-seat lower house, the National Assembly. President-elect Emmanuel Macron’s newly-created maverick centrist movement is hoping to win a majority and, in the process, smash the power of traditional parties of the Left and Right and halt the surge of the far-right. Whatever the outcome of this most uncertain battle for survival, the configuration of the French political scene will emerge profoundly altered, argues political scientist Fabien Escalona.

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Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the presidential elections was a historic event in French politics. It is the first time that a candidate from an independent centrist position has won the election, and what’s more with the aid of a movement, En Marche! (On The Move!), that was founded barely one year earlier, operating in an entrepreneurial manner that has rarely been experimented on such a scale.