Emmanuel Macron's party looks set for big parliamentary win

Speaking to Xinhua, Madani Cheurfa, secretary general of the Center of Political Research of Sciences Po, said Macron's almost flawless performance since taking office significantly backed his camp's strong performance in the first round of the legislative election.

"France is back. Since a month now the President of the Republic has been a symbol of confidence, willpower and audacity", Philippe said, adding: "Next Sunday, the National Assembly will embody the new face of our Republic".

Socialist secretary general Jean-Christope Cambadelis warned of an "almost complete lack of real opposition" if LREM's majority was confirmed in the second round of voting.

Seeing the new president widely acclaimed and admired on the global stage has made voters at home sit up and take note - and decide to give him a chance.

With most first round votes counted, the National Front was on course to win about 13.5 percent of votes.

Macron's party are contesting 526 constituencies out of a possible 577.

Polls suggest the elections will strongly favor Macron's party and dramatically shake up French politics, punishing the traditional left and right parties and leaving no single strong opposition force. Experts weren't even sure he could field enough candidates, let alone win a majority.

The final results of Sunday's first round of voting show that Macron's Republique en Marche party has won about 32.32 percent of the seats.

Pollsters predict the LREM and MoDem could secure at least three-quarters of the 577 seats in the lower house after coming Sunday's second round.

The far-right National Front of recently defeated presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is predicted to return between one to four lawmakers.

It agrees with most of Macron's policies and the newly nominated prime minister, Emmanuel Philippe, as well as the minister of economy, Bruno Le Maire, were both lifted from the party's ranks.

Conceding that the party was facing "unprecedented" losses, Cambadelis appealed to voters to rally behind Macron's rivals to avoid the president monopolising power. Macron, who has long promised a "renewal of political life", will have successfully persuaded voters to give him relatively free rein in the attempt.

"We've maybe been disappointed by the score and we have paid the price, I think, for a low turnout", he told reporters.

Few candidates reached the 50-percent mark needed for election at the first round.

Macron's year-old centrist movement, Republic on the Move, is seeking an absolute majority to be able to implement his campaign promises, which include simplifying labor rules and making it easier to lay off workers in hopes of boosting hiring.

The two mainstream parties that dominated French politics for decades were again left licking their wounds, marginalized by the swing of voter support behind Macron's political revolution. The Socialist Party presidential candidate, Benoît Hamon, lost his seat in the Assembly-part of a rout that will likely see his party drop as many as 150 seats.

  • Leroy Wright