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Macron's pro-EU party set for sweeping victory in French parliamentary election

26 June 2017

Those signs of stability and cohesion in two of the euro zone's biggest economies were viewed as positive not just for French assets, but also for peripheral markets that have been in the firing line from any signs of instability in the bloc.

France goes to the polls today with President Emmanuel Macron seeking the parliamentary majority he requires to bring about his political revolution.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has congratulated Macron over the "great success" of his party after projections showed his win.

A total of 7,882 candidates are running for 577 seats in the National Assembly in Sunday's first round of the two-stage legislative elections.

Returns showed that the National Front would take about 13.5 percent of the vote, while Jean-Luc Mélenchon's leftist France Unbowed Party was expected to win just 11 percent.

Macron has enjoyed a smooth start in the five weeks since he beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen to become France's youngest-ever president, naming a cabinet that crosses left- right lines and making a big impression at worldwide summits.

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

The figures did not include votes from France's biggest cities and such early counts tend to be less precise than pollsters' estimates, which put Macron's party close to 33 percent.

The vote delivered a crushing blow to the Socialist and conservative parties that had alternated in power for decades until Macron's election in May blew apart the left-right divide.

French government junior minister Mounir Mahjoubi said voters want to give a large majority to the new president following partial results showing his new centrist party is clearly leading the first round of France's parliamentary elections.

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Voter turnout, however, hit a record low, as an estimated 52 percent of the population stayed away.

Socialist Party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, who was eliminated in Paris, called the results "an unprecedented step back for the left as a whole and the PS (Socialist Party) in particular".

The right-wing Republican party, which only at the start of this year had seemed on course to win the Presidency under Francois Fillon, will be nearly certainly be the main opposition, with between 70 and 110 seats according to Ipsos projections.

The elections also mark another low point for former rulers the Socialist party.

"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", Mr Philippe said in a televised statement.

The En Marche! party was predicted to secure up to 425 of the 577 seats as the first voting round got under way yesterday.

He said that a "reaction is indispensable" in order to have a "balanced power" in the assembly.

His untested Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move, REM) party, which he only founded in April 2016, now needs a clear majority in the National Assembly for him to push through the reforms he has promised.

In his first political test at home, Macon, who created LREM only one a year ago, named 428 candidates, including 214 female faces, with half of them are from civil society and had never held an elected post.

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