France reborn?

Macron’s party, La République en Marche (LREM), won an impressive 308 seats (out of 577) in the National Assembly…His centrist allies in the Mouvement Démocrate (MoDem) won 42 seats, bringing the presidential majority to 350 seats… . It bears stating the obvious: this is a completely new political configuration for France.

I’m not so convinced by this ‘new configuration’ talk. No doubt it was a clever move by the French political establishment, rebranding the moribund Parti Socialiste as a ‘reform movement’, and it is indeed impressive that they pulled it off so adroitly, but it’s still just that — a rebranding of a moribund establishment.

And even at that, it was a pretty shallow success — actual turnout was at historic lows across the board, a strong indicator that many French voters had sussed out the game and wanted no part in the playing.