France -- The day in which Charles de Gaulle was confirmed as the most potent force in French political life since the end of the Second Empire began quietly for the French president.
GV de Gaulle residence
President and Mme de Gaulle arrive
MS de Gaulle into both - Mme de Gaulle out of booth
MS de Gaulle out of both - vote into ballot box -leaves with wife
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Background: France -- The day in which Charles de Gaulle was confirmed as the most potent force in French political life since the end of the Second Empire began quietly for the French president. Accompanied by Madame de Gaulle he drove to the polling station near his country home at Colombey-les-deux-Englises. They were welcomed by electoral officials, cast their votes, and left immediately.
By midnight, when the last results arrived, it was clear that Gaullist supporters would command and absolute majority in the new Assembly, with an estimated 280 seats out of the total 482.
Thus de Gaulle turned a parliamentary set-back, when Premier Georges Pompidou's government was defeated in a vote of confidence, into a triumph beyond the expectations of his most enthusiastic supporters. The president was expected to call on Pompidou to form a new government backed by the greatest parliamentary strength of any single party in the history of the republic. The official Gaullist party U.N.R. captured 233 seats, the pro-de Gaulle Republican Independents 32, and the Popular Republicans (M.R.P.), and of whose members pledged unequivocal support for the president, 38.
The Socialists, too, gained ground, from 43 to 68 seats, and the Communists jumped from ten members of the old assembly to 41 in the new. Many experts predicted the creation of a new leftist alliance between Communists, Socialists, and the smaller left-wing groups.
Three years remain of de Gaulle's seven-year presidential term. With Parliament now firmly in his corner, he was expected to seek a swift build-up of French nuclear power, and the broad modernisation of industry and agriculture. A meeting with British prime minister Harold Macmillan is scheduled for mid-December before Macmillan flies to meet President Kennedy of the United States. And a Kennedy-de Gaulle meeting, under discussion for some time, seemed likely to take place early next year.