Macron's party wins majority in parliamentary polls

First estimates as polls closed on Sunday showed French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist La Republique en Marche (The Republic on the Move, LREM) party and its Modem allies winning between 355 and 425 seats in the 577-member National Assembly.

The turnout was trending low, with just over 35 percent of eligible voters casting ballots by late Sunday afternoon, less than the 41 percent at the same hour in the first round of parliamentary voting a week ago, according to the Interior Minister.

In addition, the first-time entry into parliament by Marine Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigration National Front with its seats increased from the previous two to six now in the voting, may still prove to be a significant outlet of certain rightist sentiment in France.

Disillusion with the political class is one reason given for what is likely to be a record low participation rate that could outdo the record low in last Sunday's first round, measured at 43 percent - five points lower than last week.

After a year that saw landmark victories for populist campaigns in both Britain and the United States, Macron's election in May was widely seen as bucking a global trend. The centre-right Republicans and allies will form the main opposition but with a disappointing 125 seats, down from 199, according to the estimate.

Ms Le Pen has cited record low levels of voter participation - less than half of the eligible voters - as a reason to minimise the impact of Mr Macron's victory.

Emmanuel Macron is France's youngest president.

Before voting closed, pollsters had predicted LREM to win between 400 and 470 seats in parliament.

Polling agency projections suggested Macron's Republic on the Move! Macron aims to have the new rules in force by September, when Germany's national election should establish the foundation for broader European reforms.

He also said dissent would not be tolerated among the dozens elected on the Macron party ticket, including many newcomers such as 24-year-old law school graduate Typhanie Degois.

The result comes barely a year after Macron founded the party.

Le Pen fought for the same seat in 2012, losing by 118 votes to the Socialist Philippe Kemel, who was eliminated this year in the first round of the parliamentary election last Sunday.

"Through their vote, a wide majority of the French have chosen hope over anger", said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, reiterating his "total" determination to work on major reforms in the coming months. The outcome of the second round of the French parliamentary election came as no surprise but it shows that voters have lost interest in "traditional" political parties, said Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs.

Jean-Luc Melenchon's far-left La France insoumise (Unbowed France) party and its Communist supporters will hold around 27 seats.

REM swept aside the rightwing Republicans and Socialists, but also the far-right National Front (FN) of Marine Le Pen - whom he defeated in the presidential run-off - which fell far short of its target. Low turnout figures have led to the Socialists suffering a humiliating defeat, with the Front National vote in meltdown due to infighting following Le Pen's presidential defeat in May.



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