French voters go to polls in second round of Parliament elections

By Allen Cone   |   June 18, 2017 at 12:48 PM

June 18 (UPI) -- French voters went to the polls for the second round of parliamentary elections Sunday as President Emmanuel Macron seeks a strong majority one month after he was elected.

Macron's party, The Republic on the Move, is headed to an outright majority in the 577-seat Parliament after a strong showing last week in the first round of elections.

The turnout was much lower than in past legislative elections. At 5 p.m. local time, it was 35.33 percent compared with 46.42 percent in 2012 and 49.58 percent in 2007, according to the Interior Ministry in a post on Twitter. The polls close at 6 p.m. in most of the country and as late as 8 p.m. in bigger cities.

In the first round, about 49 percent of those registered to vote cast ballots.

More than 7,800 candidates ran in the first round, but only two candidates -- three in one case -- remain in each district in the final round.

The person with the most votes Sunday earns a seat in the National Assembly. If two candidates are tied in the number of votes, the older person wins.

Macron's party earned about 32 percent of the vote and polls predict the party will secure upward of 400 seats. Only 289 seats are needed for a majority.

Marin Le Pen, the head of the far-right National Front and Macron's runoff opponent on May 14, is running for a seat in Hénin-Beaumont in northern France.

The Republicans and the Socialists failed to reach the presidential runoff last month for the first time since World War II.

Former President Francois Hollande was a member of the Socialists, who are projected to earn only a couple of dozen seats compared with 280 they currently hold.

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