Paris (TeleSUR) – The first round of the parliamentary elections Sunday will be followed by a second round, scheduled for June 18.
French voters began to take to the polls Sunday morning to cast ballots for their members of parliament in a legislative election that President Emmnuel Macron’s party is reportedly poised to win by a wide margin.
Multiple opinion polls tipped Macron’s centrist En Marche, meaning “On The Move,” party to be the front-runner for the first round of the parliamentary election, projected to win together with its allies at least 30 percent of the votes, followed by conservative The Republicans with 20 percent and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front at about 17 percent.
Macron’s En Marche candidates have already won 10 out of the 11 seats from France’s 1.3 million overseas constituents. According to opinion polls, this could impact the mainland votes.
“We want a big majority to be able to act and transform France over the next five years,” Mounir Mahjoubi, a tech entrepreneur running under Macron’ banner told Reuters as he canvassed support in his northern Paris constituency ahead of the vote.
At noon, the turnout was at 19.24 percent, according to the Interior Ministry. This figure is slightly lower than that of the 2012 first-round ballot over the same time period. Voter turnout is expected to remain low.
The polls opened at 8:00 a.m. local time and will close at 6:00 p.m. local time, with the first projections expected soon after.
The election is taking place amid heavy security, with an estimated 50,000 security personnel expected to be on patrol.
Sunday’s first round of the parliamentary elections will be followed by a second round scheduled for June 18.
There are 577 lawmakers set to contest the election. This number includes 11 legislators who represent French citizens abroad.
Each constituency represents approximately 125,000 individuals.
If no candidate wins over 50 percent in the first round, the two top-placed will move on to the second round. Additionally, any candidate who wins 12.5 percent of the electorate, will also move to the next round.
There are 7,882 candidates standing nationwide in a process expected to produce a renewal of parliament. Over 200 of the outgoing lawmakers are not running for re-election.
The average age of a candidate is 48.5 years old.
More than 42 percent of the candidates are women. In the outgoing parliament, women represented only 26.9 percent of deputies, or 155 out of 577.
Half of Macron’s En Marche candidates are civil servants.
If Macron fails to win the majority – 289 out of 577 seats – he would be required to build a coalition government.
This post was originally published by TeleSUR English.