Emmanuel Macron's En Marche on course to dominate in first round of parliamentary election

 
Oliver Gill
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France went to the polls today as part of a two-stage process to elect its parliamentary members (Source: Getty)

French President Emmanuel Macron's En Marche took nearly a third of the vote in the first round of parliamentary elections, exit polls indicated last night.

The party secured a crushing 32.2 per cent of the vote, which the Ipsos poll projected would give En Marche between 390 and 430 of the 577 seats in France's lower house.

The Republican party is forecast to be the second most popular party, winning 21.5 per cent of the vote.

Read more: Forward France? Macron aims for a mandate in Sunday's elections

The Socialist party languished in joint fourth place with 10.2 per cent of the vote. Marine Le Pen's Front National won 14 per cent of the vote, according to Ipsos.

Turnout was low across the country, with data from polling organisations indicating less than 50 per cent of the population would cast their ballot. Interior ministry data showed 40.75 per cent of registered voters had cast ballots by 4pm UK time, well below the 48.31 per cent at the same time in the 2012 election.

Today's election is the first of two rounds of voting and tees up the top two parties that will duke it out in each constituency next Sunday's run-off.

It is the first test of support for Macron and his En Marche party since he swept to power in the presidential election in May.

A separate exit poll by Kantar suggested En Marche would secure between 400 to 440 seats on 18 June.

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Opinion polls prior to the vote forecast En Marche and its centre-right allies would secure at least 30 per cent of the votes. Conservatives from the Republican party and its allies were expected to get around 20 per cent. The far-right National Front share of the vote was anticipated to be 17 per cent.

The Socialist party was only expected to secure 15 to 30 seats, a blow considering its dominance over the last five years both in parliament and with former leader Francois Hollande as the country's president.

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