The Latest: Near-final results show Macron's party winning
Posted June 12
PARIS — The Latest on the first round of France's parliamentary election (all times local):
Near-final results from France's first-round parliamentary elections showed President Emmanuel Macron's new movement winning by a large margin and set to land a huge majority in the final-round vote.
With 94 percent of votes counted, the Interior Ministry said Macron's Republic on the Move! party won 28 percent of votes.
The conservative Republicans had 16 percent, followed by the far-right National Front with 14 percent.
The far-left party of Jean-Luc Melenchon had 11 percent while the Socialists, who dominated the last National Assembly, had just 7 percent.
Polling agencies projected that Macron's party would win more than 400 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly in the second-round vote June 18.
Turnout was estimated at less than 49 percent, a record low for modern France.
French far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon has decried the low participation rate in the first round of parliamentary elections, saying it shows France's volatile political situation.
Melenchon says that the fact that about 50 percent of voters didn't go to the polls means "there is no majority in this country" to support French President Emmanuel Macron's reform agenda, which he says includes "destructive labor rules" and would reduce freedoms.
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.
The first secretary of the Socialist party, Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, said the record low participation is a sign of "huge democratic fatigue."
Cambadelis called on voters to favor more political pluralism in the second round.
France's prime minister is declaring victory for President Emmanuel Macron's new centrist party in the first round of parliamentary elections set to reshape French politics.
Saying "France is back," Prime Minister Edouard Philippe pledged to move ahead quickly with bold reforms to French worker protections and security policy.
Philippe said voters sent a "message without ambiguity" in the first round elections Sunday that they want a parliament with a "new face." Macron's Republic on the Move party is projected to win a strong majority in the second round June 18.
The prime minister also thanked security services for protecting voting stations and ensuring a safe vote after a string of deadly extremist attacks.
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is lamenting "catastrophic" low turnout in the first round of parliamentary elections dominated by President Emmanuel Macron's new centrist party.
Runner-up in France's presidential election, Le Pen urged "patriotic" voters to turn out en masse in the second round June 18 and boost her party's small presence in the National Assembly. She hopes to be a strong opposition force, but her party is only projected to hold about a dozen seats.
She also slammed the electoral system as unfavorable to smaller parties like hers.
The head of the conservative Republicans party, Francois Baroin, also urged voters to turn out in larger numbers next week to help ensure that Macron's party faces a robust opposition.
A French government junior minister says voters want to give a large majority to newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron, following partial results showing his new centrist party is clearly leading the first round of France's parliamentary elections.
Mounir Mahjoubi, junior minister in charge of digital affairs, said on BFM television that voters have acknowledged that the first weeks of Macron's presidency "have been exemplary" and "have allowed the French to see there is a path that suits them."
Mahjoubi himself is running for a seat in Paris as a candidate with Macron's Republic on the Move party.
Partial official results show that French President Emmanuel Macron's new centrist party is clearly leading the first round of parliamentary elections crucial to his plans to change France.
With 46 percent of votes counted from Sunday's balloting, the Interior Ministry said Macron's Republic on the Move party had more than 26 percent of votes in the elections for the 577 seats in the National Assembly.
The conservative Republicans had 16 percent, the far-right National Front 14 percent, the far-left party of Jean-Luc Melenchon had 10 percent and the Socialists — who dominated the outgoing National Assembly — with just 7 percent.
Polling agencies project that Macron's party will win a large majority in the second round June 18.
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.
The projections from Sunday's voting show Macron's Republic on the Move movement is in strong position to win the decisive second round vote June 18. His party is projected to win well beyond an absolute majority in the 577-seat National Assembly, followed by the conservative Republicans. The Republicans and Socialists dominated the house for generations.
Macron wants a powerful mandate to push through plans to reduce worker protections to boost hiring, boost security and clean up corruption in politics.
Polling agencies also project a historically low turnout of around 50 percent, reflecting fatigue after a roller-coaster election season that brought Macron to power last month.
The low turnout rate in the first round of France's parliamentary election suggests a sharp drop-off in interest among voters after the May election of President Emmanuel Macron.
Under France's election rules, low voter turnout could also see fewer candidates make it through the second round next Sunday.
By late afternoon, just 41 percent of registered voters on the French mainland had cast ballots. That compared to 48 percent at the same time in the first round five years ago and 49 percent in 2002.
French voters are choosing lawmakers in the lower house of parliament in a vote that is crucial for newly-elected president Emmanuel Macron.
Some 7,882 candidates are running for 577 seats in the National Assembly in Sunday's first round of the two-stage legislative elections. Top vote-getters advance to the decisive second round June 18.
Macron's year-old centrist movement, Republic on the Move, is seeking an absolute majority to be able to implement his campaign promises, which include simplifying labor rules and making it easier to lay off workers in hopes of boosting hiring.
Polls suggest the elections will strongly favor Macron's party and dramatically shake up French politics, punishing the traditional left and right parties and leaving no single strong opposition force.