News ID: 194975
Published: 0631 GMT June 18, 2017

Runoff parliamentary elections start in France, Macron’s party projected to win

Runoff parliamentary elections start in France, Macron’s party projected to win

Polling stations have opened in France in the second round of parliamentary elections, as President Emmanuel Macron’s newly-established party is on its way to taking over the French Lower House.

Polling stations open at 8:00 am (0600 GMT) and will close between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm.

Pollsters predict that Macron’s La République En Marche (La REM) party will win as many as 75-80% of parliamentary seats in the Sunday elections.

Winning the majority in the parliament would pave the way for Macron to pursue his social and economic policies more comfortably.

The French president plans to change labor laws, downsize the public sector, and invest the money freed in areas such as job training and renewable energy.

 “I will vote for the En Marche candidate,” said Aurelie, a 25-year-old nurse in Amiens. “If we want the president to be able to do things, we need to give him a majority.”

Rival parties have pleaded with voters to stop Macron’s party from gaining a crushing absolute majority in the parliament. They have called on voters to allow a strong opposition to take root in the parliament.

Les Républicains are expected to be the biggest opposition group in parliament. Polls predict, however, that the party will secure no more than 90-95 seats, down from the 199 it currently holds.

The Socialist party, which holds 284 of the 577 seats, is expecting embarrassment following Francois Hollande’s not-so-popular presidency.

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