President Emmanuel Macron is set to win a commanding majority in France’s parliamentary election Sunday, according to pollsters' estimates, although the vote was characterized by the lowest voter turnout in the history of the French Fifth Republic at about 42 percent.
Two pollsters projected that Macron’s En Marche, known by its acronym LREM, and its Modem allies would win 355-360 seats in the 577-seat lower house, less than previously forecast.
A third poll by Elabe showed a far bigger majority, projecting 395-425 seats for the Macron alliance.
The three projections predicted the conservative Republicans and its allies would form the largest opposition bloc with 97-133 seats while the Socialist party in power for the last five years and its partners would secure 29-49 seats, their smallest win ever.
Far-right Marine Le Pen may get four to eight seats, polls showed.
The scale of the majority hands Macron — a pro-European Union neoliberal politician who served as economy minister under former President Francois Hollande — a strong platform to push through his agenda of market liberalization to benefit investors in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy.
However, the high abstention rate underlines that Macron may yet have to tread carefully with reforms in a country with strong trade unions and a history of street protests. In the first round, the voter turnout was around 51 percent, meaning that Macron's party only got about 13 percent of the vote.
Only two LREM candidates were elected in the first round with more than 50 percent of the vote. LREM won a total of 8.7 million votes Sunday — more than 2 million less than Macron a month ago.
A survey by Ipsos-Sopra for France TV Info also found that Macron was supported among France's wealthiest voters — 43 percent of people earning over US$3,000 per month support him — while only 17 percent of people earning less than US$1,250 supported him.