Macron's Republic on the Move leading in French parliamentary vote

For the Socialists and their allies, the damage Sunday was even worse.

Macron was seeking a majority of the 577 seats for his centrist party, Republic on the Move, in the first round of voting. It offers further proof that "Macronmania" is taking hold of the French.

Exit polls suggest President Emmanuel Macron's party is heading for a majority, enabling him to rule with legislative backing.

As for the left, the far-left Insoumise led by Jean-Luc Melenchon got a 11% share of the vote, followed by the Socialists in the region of 10,2%.

Half of people in the party have never been involved in politics.

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

In a televised speech, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, said despite love voter turnout, millions of French gave their "confidence in the project of Emmanuel Macron".

Pensioner Marie-Christine Laversin, 57, said while she was disappointed, she thought FN voters would turn out in greater numbers next Sunday.

Polling agencies project that Mr Macron's party will win a large majority in the second round.

Le Pen's party took a disappointing 13.5 per cent, well below her 21.3 per cent of the presidential first round vote, according to Kantar Public-onepoint which predicted only one to four seats for the far right party. Le Pen, who had Europe on edge until she lost the May 7 presidential race, was trying to save herself and her party in the legislative contests.

FN vice president Florian Philippot said the party had "maybe been disappointed by the score and we have paid the price, I think, for a low turnout".

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.

If he doesn't have a majority at the National Assembly, Macron may come under pressure to reshuffle his government and choose a prime minister from the winning party, a situation called "cohabitation".

The Socialist Party, which dominated the outgoing Assembly, is set to face significant defeat, with only a few dozen seats and many candidates eliminated in the first round.

By late afternoon, just 41 percent of registered voters on the French mainland had cast ballots.

Macron needs a solid majority if he is to put in place his plans to loosen France's extensive labour laws and change the French welfare system on pensions and unemployment benefits.

Few candidates reached the 50-percent mark needed for election at the first round. The parties that do not receive at least 12.5% of the votes will not advance to the second round.

That would give France's youngest leader since Napoleon a powerful mandate with which to make good on campaign pledges to revive France's fortunes by cleaning up politics and easing regulations that investors say hobble the eurozone's second biggest economy.

Macron professes to be neither right nor left.

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