Christian Hartmann | Reuters
French President-elect Emmanuel Macron celebrates on the stage at his victory rally near the Louvre in Paris, France May 7, 2017.
Partial official results show that French President Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist party is clearly leading the first round of parliamentary elections crucial to his plans to change France.
With 46 percent of votes counted from Sunday’s balloting, the Interior Ministry said Macron’s Republic on the Move party had more than 26 percent of votes in the elections for the 577 seats in the National Assembly.
The conservative Republicans had 16 percent, the far-right National Front 14 percent, the far-left party of Jean-Luc Melenchon had 10 percent and the Socialists — who dominated the outgoing National Assembly — with just 7 percent.
Polling agencies project are projecting that Macron’s party crushed traditional rivals in the first round of parliamentary elections likely to drastically reshape French politics.
The projections from Sunday’s voting show Macron’s Republic on the Move movement is in strong position to win the decisive second round vote June 18. His party is projected to win well beyond an absolute majority in the 577-seat National Assembly, followed by the conservative Republicans. The Republicans and Socialists dominated the house for generations.
Macron wants a powerful mandate to push through plans to reduce worker protections to boost hiring, boost security and clean up corruption in politics.
Polling agencies also project a historically low turnout of around 50 percent, reflecting fatigue after a roller-coaster election season that brought Macron to power last month.