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19 June 2017, 01:23 | Opal Carroll
PARIS (AP) - French voters gave President Emmanuel Macron's upstart party a solid victory in Sunday's parliamentary election, handing the centrist a strong mandate to reshape French politics and overhaul the country's restrictive labor laws.
REM won 32 percent of the votes cast in the first round, but this represented only about 15 percent of registered voters.
With 82 percent of the votes counted, Macron's party had 42 percent of the vote, the conservative Republicans 22 percent, the far-right National Front 10 percent and the Socialists only 6 percent.
Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen is voting in the depressed northern town of Henin-Beaumont, where she is running for a parliament seat.
Macron's party "vampirized" the left and right after his huge win in the presidential balloting, Dabi said on CNews TV.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon's far-left France Insoumise (France Unbowed) movement, together with the communist party, won some 30 seats.
The pollsters project that Mr Macron's candidates and their allies won as many as 360 seats in the 577-seat chamber.
Macron left a position in the Socialist government to run an independent presidential campaign.
The Socialists dominated the outgoing assembly with 314 seats but were heavily defeated in the presidential race amid the unpopularity of former president Francois Hollande, and could win as few as 20 seats this time.
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Macron needs an absolute majority in the National Assembly, the lower and more powerful house of parliament, to get his reform bills passed and govern at ease for the next five years.
The vote comes just a month after 39-year-old Macron, a former banker, became the youngest head of state in modern French history, promising to clean up French politics and revive the euro zone's second-biggest economy.
Polling agency projections suggested Macron's Republic on the Move!
Voters overall showed little enthusiasm for the election, which could see record low turnout.
Official statistics showed turnout by mid-afternoon at 35.3 percent, down sharply from the last election in 2012, revealing a degree of election fatigue after four votes in under two months. French President Emmanuel Macron's 14-mo.
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also welcomed the vote's outcome, tweeting that it paved "the way for reforms in France+Europe". His centrist Republic on the Move! party is expected to win more than 400 seats.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has urged voters to go to the polls Sunday and cast ballots.
Less than half of the 47.5 million-strong electorate turned out for the first round last Sunday, a record low.
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