Macron party on course for big win

Emmanuel Macron needs a strong majority to push through his reforms[/caption] The centrist party of French President Emmanuel Macron looks on course to win a landslide victory following the first round of parliamentary elections. Projections show La République en Marche (Republic on the Move) and its MoDem ally set to win up to 445 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly. The Socialists, France’s former ruling party, are seen losing 200 seats. Traditional parties are urging voters to back Mr Macron’s rivals in a run-off vote to avoid him monopolising power. Mr Macron’s party was established just over a year ago and many candidates have little or no political experience. The final outcome will be decided in the second round of voting next Sunday. What are the results? With all the ballots counted, Mr Macron’s LREM and MoDem won 32.3% of the vote. The centre-right Republicans had 21.5%, while the far-right National Front (FN) had 13.2%, followed by the far-left La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) on just over 11%. The Socialists, previously France’s ruling party, and their allies won just 9.5%. But turnout was sharply down, at 48.7% compared with 57.2% in the first round in 2012, which analysts said reflected a sense of resignation among Mr Macron’s opponents. Who is in the second round? Only four seats were settled in the first round. In the run-off vote, the other seats will be disputed by the two top-placed contenders and any other candidate who won the support of at least 12.5% of registered voters in the district. Those include LREM candidates Marie Sara, a retired bullfighter who will compete against FN stalwart Gilbert Collard in Arles; a Rwandan refugee in Brittany, Hervé Berville, who will face the Republican Didier Déru; and Cédric Villani, a “mathematics evangelist” known for his unique dress sense – including large spider brooches – who will fight against the Republican Laure Darcos. Manuel Valls, the unpopular Socialist ex-prime minister who was rejected as a candidate by both LREM and the Socialists, will face Farida Amrani, from the far-left France Unbowed, in Essonne. The election took place amid heightened security after a series of devastating terror attacks in recent years. Source: BBC]]>

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