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Macron meets with other European leaders in Paris


Turnout is projected at 55.4 percent, higher than the record-low participation rate in the first round but still lower than in previous elections. Following the first round of legislative elections (runoffs between the two or three best candidates in each district will take place on June 18), LREM is forecast to secure between 390 and 430 seats out of the 577 up for grabs in the National Assembly.

Some analysts believe their best hope is that voters might turn out in greater numbers on Sunday to try to stop REM securing too large a majority which mean nearly no opposition to Macron's agenda.

Although nearly half of the French did not vote and the electoral system - by scheduling the presidential and the legislative elections to take place within a short window - was created to make it easier for the same party to win both the executive and the legislative, the upcoming victory is the result of both a convincing first month and a successful electoral strategy. That would be the biggest win for a French president since Charles de Gaulle in 1968-and indicates that French entrepreneurs have reason to take his ideas seriously.

Sitting in the sun on the steps of her home, 72-year-old Amiens resident Francoise Granger said she is backing both Macron and Dumont.

Macron has already made a head start on his pledges: one of his government's first initiatives is to introduce legislation aimed at "cleaning up" French politics by, among other things, banning the hiring of family members by politicians and tightening up of expenses rules.

"We're in deep shit already and we'll never get out of it, at least not for a long while, so what's the point in going to vote?"

She said the government should be aware that new lawmakers won't just follow ministers' voting instructions; they intend to debate the laws.


His ambitions to position himself as a major global player have also become evident: whether it was in his offer to host American climate change researchers in France, or his closely-observed white-knuckled handshake with US President Donald Trump, which he described as a "moment on truth". Pollsters estimate The Republic on the Move! could end up with as many as 450 seats.

REM and its allies were tipped for 440-470 seats, the Republicans and its allies for 70-90 seats and the Socialists 20-30 seats - a loss for them of more than 200 after their five years in power under president Francois Hollande. Emanuel Macron will require 289 seats to guarantee a majority in parliament.

The far-right National Front was on course to win between one and five seats, and the hard-left France Unbowed party between five and 15.

Macron's comments came just hours after Wolfgang Schauble, the powerful German finance minister also gave an indication that United Kingdom would find "open doors" in Brussels if it decided not to leave the EU.

Thursday's polls show even fewer will turn out in round two.

All bills have to pass through both houses of parliament, with the National Assembly having the final word over the Senate, now led by a conservative majority.

French President Emmanuel Macron is inviting the world's innovators, engineers and business-builders to come to France as he tries to transform this country from a land resting on the laurels of its past into a "startup nation".

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