At the referendum of September 1958 the new constitution was overwhelmingly approved by the people. Even the new electoral system conspired to the advantage of the political forces it had been intended to check. In 1958 the Gaullists were determined to substitute a new electoral system for one which no one now defended. The Gaullists tried to regain the lost ground by a reshuffle of the cabinet and a modification of its policies. In 1958 Michel Debre had expected ‘an Assembly too aggressive because it is too divided’ and, to meet this danger, had tried to strengthen ‘a Senate whose principal role is to support the government in case of need’ against the deputies. In social as well as political composition the Senate represented the country’s traditional political personnel, while the Assembly was much more open to the winds of change. Thus the Gaullists’ reforming zeal had some ironical results.