(AFP) — France’s Socialists won control of parliament Sunday, handing President Francois Hollande the convincing majority he needs to push through his tax-and-spend agenda to battle the eurozone debt crisis.
The Socialists’ bloc obtained between 308 and 320 seats — an absolute majority in the 577-seat National Assembly — and so will not need to rely on the Greens or the far left, polling institutes CSA, Ipsos and Sofres said.
The far-right National Front was set to return to parliament for the first time since 1998 after winning at least two seats in the south of the country, although party leader Marine Le Pen lost her own bid for a seat.
Hollande, who defeated right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy in a May presidential election, had urged voters to give him the MPs he needs to steer France through the eurozone crisis, rising unemployment and a faltering economy.
“The task before us is immense,” Hollande’s Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said as results came in from the run-off vote. “Nothing will be easy.”