Macron's party headed for big French parliamentary majority

By Allen Cone   |   Updated June 12, 2017 at 7:16 AM
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June 11 (UPI) -- Emmanuel Macron's centrist party produced strong results Sunday to select new Parliament members in France, one month after he become president.

Macron was seeking a majority of the 577 seats for his centrist party, Republic on the Move, in the first round of voting. His party's candidates represent a wide range, including students, the retired and a bullfighter.

Projections show his Republic on the Move Party and its MoDem ally set to win up to 445 seats.

With all the ballots counted, the alliance had won 32.3 of the vote compared with the center-right Republicans with just under 16 percent, the far-right National Front with 13.2 percent, the far-left France Unbowed just over 11 percent and Socialists, previously France's ruling party, with 7.4 percent.

Candidates who win more than 50 percent of the vote will be elected. If not, all candidates who earn at least 12.5 percent of vote will go into the second round June 18, where the winner takes the seat.

Turnout was 48.7 percent compared with 57.2 percent in the first round in 2012

"France is back," Edouard Philippe, the prime minister for Macron, said late Sunday. "Despite the abstention, the message of the French has no ambiguity: For the third consecutive time, millions of you confirmed your attachment to the president of the republic's project to renew, unite and win back."

Macron selected Philippe from the mainstream Republican Party.

Macron, 39, is an outsider after the Republicans and the Socialists failed to reach the presidential runoff last month for the first time since World War II. Marine Le Pen ran against Macron in the May 7 election with the far-right National Front Party. Former President Francois Hollande's Socialist Party had 280 seats.

Opinion polls showed Macron would win between 360 and 427 seats -- easily a majority.

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