French elections: Macron wins parliamentary majority in second round, early results show

President Emmanuel Macron won a commanding majority in France's parliamentary election on Sunday, sweeping aside traditional parties and securing a powerful mandate for pro-business reforms. The populist Le Pen, running for a parliamentary seat to represent her northern bastion around Henin-Beaumont, appears likely to win after scoring 46 percent of the vote in the first round.

"We shall fight with all our strength the harmful projects of the government, which is only in place to implement the roadmap sent by Brussels".

Just months ago, Macron was given little chance of becoming president, never mind controlling parliament, but he and the movement he founded 16 months ago have tapped into widespread desire for wholesale change.

Socialist leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis admitted a "historic defeat" for his party and resigned from his post.

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France's youngest leader since Napoleon, Macron emerged from relative obscurity to score a thumping win in the presidential election in May.

With 57% of votes counted, the Interior Ministry said that Mr Macron's party had won 4% of the vote, followed by the conservative Republicans with 23%.

Le Pen's right wing Front National party garnered 13.2% of the vote last Sunday and is expected to take between one and four seats.

Moreover, the scale of LREM's win means Macron will enjoy an absolute majority even without the support of alliance partner Francois Bayrou and Modem, lending him a freer hand for reforms and room for a government reshuffle should he chose.

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However a low turnout could damage this mandate, after a 49 per cent turnout during the first round of voting.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe cast his vote in the port city of Le Havre, where he served as mayor before becoming prime minister.

Experts partly blamed voter fatigue following the May 7 election of Macron, plus voter disappointment with politics. Opinion polls before the vote had projected Macron could win as many as 470 seats.

Candidates from the conservative party, The Republicans, are expected to form the largest opposition group, with 70-110 seats, according to pollsters, with other parties sharing the rest.

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Less than half of the 47.5 million-strong electorate turned out last Sunday, a record low that especially punished Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front party.

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