France's Macron set for landslide majority in parliament, polls show

If confirmed, the Republicans headed by Francois Fillon would become the largest opposition force with up to 100 seats in the 577-member 15th National Assembly.

The centre-right Republicans had 21.5 per cent, while the far-right National Front (FN) had 13.2 per cent, followed by the far-left France Unbowed on just over 11 per cent.

Fresh from his landslide victory in the presidential election, Emmanuel Macron is on track to dramatically reshape the French parliament. Any candidates with more than 12.5 percent of the votes in the first round remain in the running.

However the signs for Macron are promising: The president's party could win a comfortable majority with between 360 and 427 seats in the assembly, according to projections by pollsters Harris Interactive and IPSOS.

Macron, France's youngest-ever president, is seeking an absolute majority in the Assembly to be able to implement his promised pro-business labor reforms and tougher security measures.

The two established parties - the Republicans and the Socialists - both failed to reach the presidential run-off last month for the first time in France's post-war history.

French voters are choosing lawmakers in the lower house of parliament on Sunday in a vote that is crucial for newly-elected president Emmanuel Macron.

"It's a renewal of the political class", said Jose Jeffrey, a Health Ministry administrator who voted LREM.

The two mainstream parties on the left and right that dominated French politics for decades were again left licking their wounds, marginalized by the swing of voter support behind Macron's political revolution. Experts weren't even sure he could field enough candidates, let alone win a majority.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron was sworn in as the eighth president of the French Fifth Republic in a ceremony at the Elysee Palace on Sunday. Some of those delegates joined Macron's party; many were replaced by political amateurs. All 577 seats are up for grabs, and each victor will serve a five-year term.

"It is neither healthy nor desirable for a president who gathered only 24 percent of the vote in the first round...and who was elected in the second round only by the rejection of the extreme right should benefit from a monopoly of national representation", Socialist party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis said.

Under France's electoral rules, only candidates who win more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round win the seat outright.

The party's secretary general, Nicolas Bay, warned of Macron getting "a majority so big that he will have a sort of blank check for the next five years".

Mr Macron wants, within weeks, to start reforming French labour laws to make hiring and firing easier, and plans to legislate a greater degree of honesty into a parliament previously hit by high-profile scandals.

  • Zachary Reyes