President Emmanuel Macron's party and its ally took a big lead in the first round of French legislative election on Sunday, which refracted that the new and young French president is winning emerging confidence of voters, with his "not bad" performance.
Emmanuel Macron waves after voting in the first of two rounds of French parliamentary elections. Together with allies, the party won 32.3 percent of the vote.
Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, head of the Socialist party that was in power until a month ago, acknowledged that the first round marked an "unprecedented" setback for the party, set to win a paltry 30-40 seats, and the broader left.
His one-year-old Republic on the Move (LREM) party fielded more than 400 candidates, bringing together seasoned veterans and political novices including a former bullfighter, fighter pilot and ex-armed police commander. Numerous candidates - including a former pilot and a former bullfighter - were political novices who had never held elected office, like Macron himself.
"We are grateful for the trust you have placed in all the new faces of the Republic", Catherine Barbaroux, the party's president, told the media.
The final results will be confirmed next Sunday after the second round of voting.
Both the Republicans - who had hoped to upstage Macron in the parliamentary election - and the Socialists of Macron's predecessor Francois Hollande appeared set for steep losses.
The conservative Republicans had 16 per cent, the far-right National Front 14 per cent, the far-left party of Jean-Luc Melenchon had 10 per cent and the Socialists - who dominated the outgoing National Assembly - with just seven per cent.
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Rivals began sounding the alarm regarding the majority, with Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, head of the Socialist Party, remarking that opposition almost no longer exists, and Marine Le Pen calling the abstention rate "catastrophic".
French President Emmanuel Macron will win a crushing majority in Parliament in a week's time, according to projections from his En Marche party's first-round victory last night.
Macron had thrown Les Republicains off balance by nominating two high-profile party members, Edouard Philippe and Bruno Le Maire, as his prime minister and economy minister.
Francois Baroin of the conservative Republicans said political power should not be concentrated in the hands of one party, and he urged backers to turn out for the second round.
"Macron doing well in the first round of the French parliamentary elections bodes well for him getting a majority", said Lyn Graham-Taylor, fixed income strategist at Rabobank. He wants, within weeks, to start reforming French labor laws to make hiring and firing easier, and legislate a code of ethics in politics to end the scandals that over decades have eroded voter trust in the political class.
But turnout was sharply down, at 48.7% compared with 57.2% in the first round in 2012, which analysts say reflected a sense of resignation among Mr Macron's opponents.
"I think people don't trust the politicians anymore", he said.
Marine Le Pen blamed her party's poor performance on the low turnout, saying France's electoral system, which favours larger parties, needed to be reformed.