Macron's party in France predicted to win majority


French president Emmanuel Macron waves during an inauguration ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, on May 14, 2017.

"France is back", Edouard Philippe, the prime minister for Macron, said late Sunday.

French President Emmanuel Macron's party, the "Republic on the Move", is close to winning another nationwide election, only a month after Mr. Macron was elected president.

"While the political situation in the United Kingdom has become more complicated, across the Channel, conventional wisdom appears to have been turned on its head as Macron's new party.has swept the board in the first round of French parliamentary elections, no mean feat for a movement that didn't even exist two years ago", said CMC Markets (LSE: CMCX.L - news) chief market analyst Michael Hewson.

Their only bad news may have been the record low voter turnout. Less than 50 percent of the 47.5 million electors cast ballots - showing that Macron has limited appeal to many voters.

Scores, hundreds, of new MPs will be arriving who have never set foot in a debating chamber of any kind, let alone the country's legislature.

Macron's parties won an overwhelming 32 percent of the popular vote on Sunday.

Francois Baroin of the conservative Republicans said political power should not be concentrated in the hands of one party, and he urged backers to turn out for the second round.

Pollsters estimated that Macron's camp could end up with as many as 450 seats - and that the opposition in parliament would be fragmented as well as small.

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French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron leave a polling booth as they vote in the first round of the two-stage legislative elections, in Le Touquet, northern France on Sunday.

"We are grateful for the trust you have placed in all the new faces of the Republic", Catherine Barbaroux, the party's president, told supporters after seeing the projected results. Projecting seat numbers is an imprecise science in the two-round system.

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

They were projected to win between 70 and 110 seats in the next Assembly according to a projection by Ipsos for FRANCE 24.

The left-wing party last led by previous President Francois Hollande saw its vote collapse to only 7.44 per cent, after Macron's left-of-centre party swept up its traditional base.

The party's result showed it struggling to rebound from Le Pen's bruising defeat by Macron in May's presidential run-off. Macron's En Marche party is projected to win a strong majority in the second round on 18 June.

Mr Macron needs to win at least 289 of the 577 seats to get a majority.

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. The year 1978 saw the highest participation in a first-round legislative vote, with 83.3 percent of voters casting a ballot.

Some experts say the low turnout reflects fatalism among Macron's opponents in the face of his seemingly unstoppable advance.