With new president, new faces for French parliament


And without a working majority, Macron could quickly become a lame-duck president, unable to push through labor reforms and other measures he promised to the electorate. But she defiantly claimed the mantle of France's main opposition in calling on "all patriots to join us" in constituting a "new political force".

Macron's victory in the May 7 presidential runoff has reconfigured the political landscape with his winning campaign as an independent that upended decades of left-right politics in France. Asked whether the party's name would change, as Le Pen has hinted, he suggested that such a move was likely.

Ferrand says the party plans to compete in all 577 parliamentary seats and says that 50% of its candidates will be women. "The National Front is a tool that will evolve to be more efficient, bring more people together considering the number of voters we reached last night". Macron said the person he has "in mind" is in line with the profile he has disclosed previously: someone with political experience, who can lead a parliamentary majority.

But any idea of a fearless new political dawn will be tempered by an abstention rate on Sunday of around 25 percent, the highest this century, and by a record share of blank or spoiled ballots - submitted by more than 11 percent of those who did vote.

The National Front is also gearing up for a rebranding - if not a makeover - of its ideas.

Goodwin said politics was becoming more "fragmented with large numbers of people having a weakening sense of loyalty", something that could be swayed by identity issues, like immigration, globalisation and terrorism.

He said it was "obviously necessary for the National Front to transform itself".

"This is is a good thing, it shows they've been able to resist it", she added. "And every vote for me and my team will strengthen my hand in those Brexit negotiations", she said.

While voters overwhelmingly backed Macron, he has inherited a "divided" France anxious about terrorism and chronic unemployment.

Among others floated as potential premiers are Xavier Bertrand, a veteran of the Republican who heads the Hauts-de-France, and outgoing Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who after Macron's win urged France to "come together and be united in this hard period".

"Tonight you won, France won".

France's biggest labour union, the CFDT, welcomed Macron's victory but said the National Front's score was still worryingly high.

Mr Hamon, who gained popularity in recent years by leading a group of rebel Socialist lawmakers who opposed Mr Valls, was a distant fifth in the first round of the presidential election after garnering just over 6% of the votes, the Socialist Party's worst result since 1969.

Trump emphasized his desire to work closely with Macron in confronting shared challenges, and noted the long and robust history of cooperation between the United States and France, the White House said in a statement.