Macron set for second landslide

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 Sunday

Government spokesman Christophe Castaner said the 49 percent turnout - the lowest for six decades in such a vote - was "a failure of this election", acknowledging that the Macron team would need to reach out to those who stayed away.

Her defeat in May brought huge relief to European allies who had feared another populist upheaval to follow Britain's Brexit vote and Donald Trump's election as USA president, and disappointment to the party faithful.

"The National Front has not recovered from the period between the two rounds (of the presidential election) and its successive mess-ups", Brice Teinturier of the Ipsos polling institute said on France 2 TV.

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.

The Macron victory is the biggest majority seen in France since Charles de Gaulle's landslide win in 1968.

If next Sunday's vote confirms the first round, Macron will have nearly no opposition in parliament, with the traditional main parties struggling to have their voices heard.

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

The Socialist Party and its allies are projected to win 20 to 30 seats.

They include tech entrepreneur Bruno Bonnell, who campaigned by sticking photos of him and Mr Macron on the side of a rented van in Villeurbanne, eastern France.

Those who did gave Macron's the Republic on the Move party over 28 per cent of the vote - more than 12 points ahead of the closest rival, the mainstream conservatives.


The FN's result showed the party is struggling to rebound from Le Pen's bruising defeat by Macron in the presidential run-off.

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.

La Republique en Marche won 32.32 per cent of the vote with the votes of allies the Mouvement Democrate (MoDem) included.

The Socialist Party suffered in particular. If there is no clear victor, all candidates who win more than 12.5 percent in the first round qualify for a runoff.

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.

Pollsters' projected that as many as one-third of votes went to Mr Macron's camp in the first stage of the two-part election.

"Their choice has a clear meaning: they want the action taken by Emmanuel Macron, since his election to the Presidency of the Republic, to be continued", LREM Party President Catherine Barbaroux said in a statement after the exit poll results were announced.

He said that a "reaction is indispensable" in order to have a "balanced power" in the assembly. The National Front party can receive from five to 15 seats in the parliament.

In a bid to shake up the parliament, half of Macron's candidates are political newcomers who, like the president before he took the country's top job, have never held elected office.

On the diplomatic front, Macron did not lose to U.S. President Donald Trump when they postured to shake hands together at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit held in Brussels late May.

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