Exit polls: Large majority for Macron in French parliament

Exit polls: Large majority for Macron in French parliament

Exit polls: Large majority for Macron in French parliament

Paris: Polls opened in mainland France for the country's parliamentary elections on Sunday which surveys forecast will hand an overwhelming majority to the centrist party of President Emmanuel Macron.

The second and final round of legislative competition cleared the way for France's youngest top official to control the country's political power over five-year term.

Polls suggest En Marche!, the fledgling party he founded only previous year, may win up to 450 of the 577 seats in the national assembly, upsetting the established parties' grip on power.

An alliance led by the conservative Les Républicains party emerged as the biggest opposition group, with 125 seats. However, the Republicans would not pose any threat to Macron's governance. Less than half the 47.5 million-strong electorate turned out to vote last Sunday, a record low that especially punished the once-feared far-right National Front party of Marine Le Pen, runner-up to Macron for the presidency.

With 57 percent of votes counted, the Interior Ministry said that Macron's Republic on the Move!

The turnout in France's parliamentary election is trending low, with just over 35 percent of eligible voters casting ballots by late afternoon. Macron's party, which didn't exist 14 months ago and offered novice candidates from civilian life, has drawn from left and right to fill its ranks, effectively blurring the traditional left-right political divide.

Macron left a position in the Socialist government to run an independent presidential campaign. Melenchon, whose party was projected to win 25 to 30 seats, denounced Macron's planned labor reforms that would make it easier to hire and fire French workers, calling them a "social coup d'etat" that he would fight. The party's leader, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, immediately stood down.

Republicans leader Francois Baroin declared his party the main opposition and wished Macron "good luck" because he said he wants France to succeed. French President Emmanuel Macron's 14-mo.

With its allies, the Socialists could get fewer than 50 seats, projections showed.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also welcomed the vote's outcome, tweeting that it paved "the way for reforms in France+Europe".

The far-right Front National, which now has two seats in parliament, was predicted to win up to eight seats, better than its first-round showing had indicated. His centrist Republic on the Move! party is expected to win more than 400 seats.

Abstention is partly blamed on voter fatigue as voters have casts their ballots in two parties' primaries in the last eight months.

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