France votes new parliament in first-round election
The election came a month after centrist Emmanuel Macro won the presidency of the eurozone's second largest economy.
Opinion polls forecast the Republic On The Move (LREM), a centrist political movement that Macron created only a year ago, will lead Sunday's vote with 30 percent, ahead of the conservative The Republicans party and its allies with about 20 percent as well as the far-right National Front with 18 percent.
More than 7,800 candidates are vying for the 577 seats in the parliament. Top vote-getters advance to the second round scheduled for June 18.
Around 47 million people are eligible to vote in France. Polling stations will remain open until 8:00 p.m. local time (1800 GMT) in big cities and until 7:00 p.m local time (1700 GMT) in other places. Exit polls are expected to be released immediately afterwards. ■