Rout by Macron's party in French parliamentary election vote


Mr Macron's year-old Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move, REM) and their allies were set to win between 355 and 403 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly, based on partial results after the second round of an election which has swept away many high-profile figures.

A third poll by Elabe showed a far bigger majority, projecting 395-425 seats from the Macron alliance.

PARIS Emmanuel Macron was visibly irritated last March at a news conference ahead of the first round of the presidential election.

The projections from Sunday's second-round legislative elections suggest that Macron's Republic on the Move! party handily beat the traditional left and right parties that have led the National Assembly for decades.

If the steamroller effect continues for Macron's party, half of whose candidates are women and the other half new to politics, France will have a chamber of representatives like few others, fulfilling the president's wish to renew a political class dominated by career politicians, peppered with corruption and losing credibility.

Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen registered a massive victory in her northern bastion of Henin-Beaumont, defeating Macron's candidate as she won her first French parliamentary seat.

The Republicans hung on to between 97 and 130 seats, down from over 200 in the last parliament, and remain the main opposition party.

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"We are the only force of resistance to the watering down of France, of its social model and its identity", she said defiantly.

Final voter turnout in the second round of France's parliamentary election is estimated by pollsters at between 42 and 43 percent after official data showed 35.33 percent of the voters turned up to cast their ballot by 1700 (1500 GMT), Reuters reported. Opinion polls before the vote had projected Macron could win as many as 470 seats.

Macron repeated the tactic in his ministerial appointments, stealing leading moderates from both The Republicans and the Socialist party.

Ultra-leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon, who Macron also defeated in the presidential vote, said he won in his Marseille district.

Ms Le Pen, who entered parliament for the first time in her career, told supporters her FN had won at least six seats - but the party was certain to fall short of its target of 15 seats.

Experts partly blamed voter fatigue following the May 7 election of Macron, plus voter disappointment with politics.

He also chose not to contest selected seats, including one where Socialist former prime minister Manuel Valls won on Sunday night without the endorsement of his party, thereby driving home divisions in the traditional parties.