Emmanuel Macron, pictured, voted in the second round of parliamentary elections today but his wife Brigitte was nowhere to be seen. His party is expected to win a landslide.
Emmanuel Macron kissed supporters today after casting his vote in parliamentary elections that are set to give his new party the biggest majority in recent French history – but there was no sign of his wife Brigitte.
Polls suggest the 39-year-old head of state’s Republic En Marche (REM, or Republic on the Move) will wipe out rivals including the right-wing National Front.
The passionately pro-EU Mr Macron hopes his vast new mandate will give him a particularly strong hand as he takes part in crucial Brexit negotiations.
He also wants to give Mrs Macron ‘a true public role’ as France’s new First Lady – making today’s absence even more surprising.
The 64-year-old has been at his side constantly since he was elected the country’s youngest ever president on May 7th.
Mr Macron has slammed ‘French hypocrisy’ for not giving any official function to the spouses of heads of state.
He embraced his fans and posed for selfies in Le Touquet, the northern seaside resort where he shares a holiday home with his wife and their dog Figaro.
‘Where’s Brigitte?’ one member of the crowd outside the town hall shouted as Mr Macron emerged after voting.
In turn, an aide said Mrs Macron – who first met her second husband when she was his school teacher – was ‘running a bit late’, and would catch up with her husband ‘a bit later in the day’.
A majority of up to 470 seats out of 577 in the Paris National Assembly is expected to go to REM, leading to Mr Macron saying he was ‘delighted to be with friends’ on such an important day.
Mr Macron was dressed in a dark blue suit and tie, despite summer temperatures well into the 30 degrees centigrade.
After posing for selfies and shaking more hands, he boarded a helicopter that headed towards his next engagement.
The former Rothschild banker will be in Paris tonight as the official results of the two-round parliamentary election are made public shortly after 8pm.
Both the Socialist Party, and the conservative Republicans, who have dominated French politics for decades, are set for massive losses.
The Republicans put up indicted criminal suspect Francois Fillon for president this year, and he now faces trial over a fake jobs scandal alongside his British-born wife, Penelope Fillon.
Meanwhile, the Socialists are expected to be punished severely for five years of mediocre rule under President Francois Hollande.
Arguably the most humiliating losses are expected to be suffered by Marine Le Pen’s National Front, however. She believed she could become President this year, and preside over a new far-Right opposition, but they are set to win far less than 10 seats.
The only good news for Ms Le Pen, however, is that she could finally enter parliament herself after 24 years of trying.
She hopes to win a seat in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont, where she has bought a flat after failing in previous elections there.
REM is fielding a mix of Left and Right candidates today, including many former Republicans and Socialists, as well as ordinary members of the public.
They will help Mr Macron push through his domestic agenda, which includes business-friendly reforms, and a clean up of public life to prevent the kind of corruption scandal that the Fillons were involved in.
Former prime minister Jean-Pierrre Raffarin said people should remember that ‘we’re not electing an emperor’.

Continue reading...