France goes to the polls as Macron seeks majority

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But the election was marked with a low turnout, with just 41 percent of registered voters in France having cast ballots by late afternoon.

"It is not healthy that a president who gathered 24 percent of votes in the first round of the presidential election has a monopoly in the assembly", Cambadelis said, referring to Macron's score in April.

Mounir Mahjoubi, junior minister in charge of digital affairs, said on BFM television that voters have acknowledged that the first weeks of Mr Macron's presidency "have been exemplary" and "have allowed the French to see there is a path that suits them".

Macron, a former Economy Minister in France's Socialist government in 2014-2016, founded the centrist progressive political movement "En Marche!"

Such an outcome would transform into a landslide majority in the second round, the opinion polls show.

The Interior Ministry's figures showed that only three candidates were elected outright in the first round, with the remaining 574 seats to be decided by runoff votes next Sunday.

Macron's party could win as many as 455 out of 577 deputies.

Jean-Luc Melenchon's far-left party had 11 percent, while the Socialists of former President Francois Hollande tumbled to 7 percent.

Ms Le Pen's party took a disappointing 13.2 per cent, well below her 21.3 per cent of the presidential first round vote.

Benoit Hamon, the party's presidential candidate, was also knocked out of the running for his seat.

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Reformist Mr Macron has pledged to strengthen European Union ties, stabilise public finances, and loosen strictures on business.

Since July 2016, French voters saw major election activities in the country in less than one year, such as preliminary elections of candidates by various political parties, followed by two rounds of nationwide general presidential elections.

The first secretary of the Socialist party, Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, said the record low participation is a sign of "huge democratic fatigue".

"For the third time in a row, millions of you have confirmed your support for the president of the republic's policy of renewal, unity and reconquest", Philippe said in a televised statement. In a political landscape defined for decades by the well-oiled machines of traditional center-left and center-right parties, the rise of Macron's Republic on the Move represented a watershed development.

Le Pen, herself in a commanding position to be elected to the national parliament for the first time after winning 46 percent of first round votes, put on a courageous face, urging voters not to abstain next week.

It was not clear how opposition parties would be able to stem much of Macron's advance in Sunday's final round.

The president needs a strong majority in order to push through his promised reforms of France's strict labor laws, and its ailing social security system.

The FN had set the 15-seat goal in order to qualify as a parliamentary group, a status that gives a party more clout in the National Assembly with seats on committees and a role in setting the agenda.

Voters will return to the ballot box for the second round of the legislative poll on June 18, with public opinion experts expecting participation to improve slightly.

Baroin suggested that voters were so enamored of Macron that they failed to scrutinize his program.

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