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French vote: Macron's party gets large majority

19 June 2017

PARIS (AP) - Voters gave President Emmanuel Macron's fledgling party a solid victory in parliamentary elections Sunday, handing the upstart centrist a strong mandate to overhaul the country's labor laws, among the most sensitive issues for the French.

Mrs Le Pen is expected to win a seat in the assembly, but fail to capture more than six across the country for her party.

With 82 percent of the votes counted, Macron's party had 42 percent of the vote, the conservative Republicans 22 percent, the far-right National Front 10 percent and the Socialists only 6 percent.

The ministry said the far-right National Front was in third place with almost 10% followed by the Socialists with 6.2%. FILE - In this Sunday, June 11, 2017 file photo, people walk in a polling station before casting their ballots in the first round of parliamentary elections, in Lyon, central France.

Far-left ex-presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is voting in the Mediterranean city of Marseille, where he is seeking a seat as well.

The scale of Macron's absolute majority shows the extent to which the new president, a newcomer to party politics, has managed to transform the French political landscape in record time.

Macron's party "vampirized" the left and right after his huge win in the presidential ballot, Dabi said on CNews TV. The party's leader, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, immediately stood down.

Taking over from the Socialist government of Francois Hollande, Macron aims to make sweeping reforms to the French economy, including cutting tens of thousands of public-sector jobs, making it easier to hire and fire workers, and investing billions of euros into fields such as job training and renewable energy.

The projections from Sunday's second-round legislative elections suggest that Macron's Republic on the Move! party handily beat the traditional left and right parties that have led the National Assembly for decades.

It has been a bad night for the Socialists, who are predicted to win just 27 to 49 seats - losing hundreds of their lawmakers.

The German Foreign Ministry quoted Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Twitter as saying that "the road is clear for reforms, in France and in Europe".

Official statistics showed turnout at a near 60-year low, revealing a high degree of election fatigue after four votes in under two months. French President Emmanuel Macron's 14-mo.

The party is expected to win only a handful of seats despite its third-place showing in the first round.

But his alliance with the French Communist Party could end up giving them more seats than Le Pen's National Front - even if her party gets more votes.