French See No One to Counter Macron, Set to Sweep Parliament

French parliamentary elections continue amid low turnout and En Marche dominance

Nevertheless, voter turnout has hit a historic low with abstention in the first round reaching 51.6 percent, according to French Interior Ministry data.

Melenchon, who could see his party win around 20 seats, asked French voters "not to give full powers" to the president's party in the second round next week.

Meanwhile, Italy's 5-Star Movement looked likely to suffer a severe setback in local elections, a development that could undermine its hopes of winning a national vote due by May 2018 and which suggests it is losing steam like other anti-establishment parties across Europe.

Macron also plans to quickly pass a law to strengthen security measures - effectively making the state of emergency permanent, after multiple Islamic extremist attacks in France - and another one that he says will put more ethics into French politics.

Macron's predecessors Francois Hollande in 2012, Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007 and Jacques Chirac in 2002 all won outright majorities.

Macron was seeking a majority of the 577 seats for his centrist party, Republic on the Move, in the first round of voting.

With this electoral rout, it's possible Macron will face no meaningful opposition.

Marine Le Pen (C), leader of French far-right National Front (FN) party, reacts with supporters after polls closed for the first round of the French legislative elections in Henin-Beaumont, northern France, 11 June 2017.

Socialist leader Jean-Christophe Cambadélis lost his seat in the first round.

The poll delivered a further 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 polling agencies are projecting that President Emmanuel Macron's new centrist party crushed traditional rivals in the first round of parliamentary elections likely to drastically reshape French politics.


Across France, however, turnout was low and three pollsters projected it would remain below 50 per cent.

The biggest loser of the night was the Socialist party, which saw its support plummet, prompting talk of carnage and massacre.

His party is projected to win well beyond an absolute majority in the 577-seat National Assembly, followed by the conservative Republicans.

FN vice president Florian Philippot said the party had "maybe been disappointed by the score and we have paid the price, I think, for a low turnout".

If no candidate manages to achieve that target, then all candidates who won at least 12.5% of registered voters go to the second round, where the victor will advance to Parliament.

"Chancellor Merkel: My honest congratulations to Emmanuel Macron for the great success of his party in the first round".

The former investment banker who had never held elected office before becoming president will also have succeeded in ushering in a younger and more diverse parliament with more women and ethnic minorities.

There was more good news for Macron as five of his six Cabinet ministers running in the elections are leading in their respective races and have good chances to win in next Sunday's run-off.

France's right wing Republican party, allied with the Union of Democrats and Independents, secured 18.80 percent.

His party fielded newcomers in around 200 constituencies, some of whom felled long-sitting former ministers at the first round.

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