Macron's New Party Set for Landslide in French Parliament Election

French President Emmanuel Macron's nascent political party has stormed past its traditional rivals in the first round of voting in parliamentary elections which took place Sunday.

The estimates based on partial results showed Mr. Macron's year-old REM and MoDem winning 32.2-32.9 per cent in the first round, ahead of the Republicans on 20.9-21.5 per cent and the FN on 13.1-14 per cent.

The former investment banker who had never held elected office before becoming president will also have succeeded in ushering in a younger and more diverse parliament with more women and ethnic minorities.

Pollsters said well over 30 percent of those who voted had picked Macron's centrist party in the first round, a result which they said could deliver him as much as three quarters of lower house seats when the second round results come in next week.

"For the third time in a row, millions of you have confirmed your support for the President of the republic's policy of renewal, unity and reconquest", Mr Philippe said in a televised statement.

Others said they had not voted as they were exhausted out by the drawn-out electoral cycle, with party primaries that started previous year before the two rounds of presidential and then legislative contests.

The Socialist Party - now the largest party in the National Assembly - scored the biggest loss of the night, taking just 9.5 per cent of the vote with its allies.

French President Emmanuel Macron leaves his home before voting in the first of two rounds of parliamentary elections in Le Touquet, France, June 11.

"Emmanuel Macron is set to pull off the most spectacular grand slam of the Fifth Republic", wrote Laurent Joffrin of the left-leaning Liberation daily. The National Front party can receive from five to 15 seats in the parliament.

Sunday's projections pointed to another torrid night for the two main traditional parties, which have suffered high-profile defections to Macron's government and party.

FN vice-president Florian Philippot admitted to "disappointment" and called on voters to "mobilise massively" for the June 18 second round.

The Socialists, meanwhile, were fighting for survival, with several heavyweights including party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis crashing out in the first round.

Republicans leader Francois Baroin also cautioned against all the power being "concentrated in one party".

Only 48.8 percent of registered voters cast their ballot on Sunday, the lowest turnout in French modern politics.

Although Macron's party is projected to win big in the end, many of its candidates didn't get enough votes to win spots outright in the first round.

The Republicans said the low turnout testified to the deep divisions in French society and the Socialists warned voters not to give the LREM an absolute majority as it would result in a National Assembly with no democratic debate.

Among the LREM political newcomers who went through to second round were his key ministers and a retired bullfighter.

"Lots of voters thought that (the election result) was played out in advance", Bay said Monday on CNews television, reflecting a sense expressed by others that the huge presidential win by Macron demotivated many potential voters.

  • Zachary Reyes