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France votes new parliament in first-round election

Staff Writer |
French voters went to the polls on Sunday to pick the lower house's 577 members in the first round of parliamentary elections.

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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.


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