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Emmanuel Macron's party wins big in France, projections suggest

17 June 2017

The record-low turnout, however, took some shine off the achievement for Macron's Republic on the Move! - a fledgling party fighting its first-ever election and dedicated to providing France's youngest-ever president with the legislative majority he needs to be effective and enact his promised labor reforms and other sweeping changes.

By late afternoon, just 41 percent of registered voters on the French mainland had cast ballots.

The measures follow the scandal that destroyed the presidential bid of Republicans candidate Francois Fillon, who has been charged over payments to his wife and two of his children for suspected fake jobs as parliamentary assistants.

Mr. Macron is also trying to usher in an era of cleaner politics.

(LREM, also known as En Marche!) is on course to win one of the largest parliamentary majorities in post-war France's history after last night's first round of voting.

The Socialists, France's former ruling party, are seen losing 200 seats.

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The National Front is expected to take 13.1%, leaving it with between one and four seats, while Jean-Luc Mélenchon's far-left party is expected to claim between 10-20 seats after accounting for 11% of the vote.

Opinion polls forecast LREM and its centre-right MoDem allies will win at least 30 percent of votes on Sunday.

On Monday, party leaders vowed to set aside their differences for the duration of the election.

"We would have a National Assembly with real power of control and without democratic debate to speak of". "We shouldn't have a monopolistic party", ex-prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a Socialist, told Reuters.

The lowest turnout - until now - was in 2012, when only 57.2 percent of voters participated.

Seeing the new president widely acclaimed and admired on the global stage has made voters at home sit up and take note - and decide to give him a chance.

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Among those hoping for a win in the second round are Marie Sara, a retired bullfighter running against an FN stalwart in southern France.

Le Pen and other opposition figures chose instead to highlight the abstention rate, which the National Front leader described as "catastrophic", calling on "patriots" to turn out "massively" in next Sunday's second round, which will fill most of the assembly's seats. Le Pen, who had Europe on edge until she lost the May 7 presidential race, was trying to save herself and her party in the legislative contests.

He is said to believe it would be better to end up with a "hard Brexit" than to let Britain walk away with an advantageous deal, even if it harmed France's trade.

President Macron claims his political leanings are to neither the left or the right.

An absolute majority for Mr Macron's party would enable him to implement campaign promises to simplify labour rules and make it easier to lay off workers in hopes of boosting hiring.

Because of differences between the districts, nationwide vote totals do not translate into a set number of seats in Parliament. While Macron and Merkel have both demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the European Union and Merkel strongly applauded Macron's election, they are likely to differ over Macron's desire for E.U. -issued bonds, a measure Merkel has strongly opposed in the past.

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The President was economy minister in the Socialist government that began loosening the labour laws previous year, sparking mass demonstrations that lasted for months.

Emmanuel Macron's party wins big in France, projections suggest