French voters went to the polls on Sunday for the second round of parliamentary elections on Sunday expected to hand President Emmanuel Macron a landslide victory that should allow him to embark on deep social and economic reforms.
The new assembly is due to be transformed with a new generation of lawmakers, more female and more ethnically diverse — winning seats a month after the 39-year-old former banker became the youngest head of state in modern French history.
Macron’s centrist Republic on the Move (LREM) party is barely more than a year old, yet pollsters project it will win as many as 75-80 percent of seats in the 577-seat lower house.
If confirmed, the victory will come at the expense of France’s traditional parties, the rightwing Republicans and Socialists, but also the far-right National Front which faces major disappointment.
“People know it’s already a done deal,” Alex Mpoy, a 38-year-old security guard told Reuters TV, echoing the apathy of many voters who intend to abstain.
Macron cast his vote early in the morning in the seaside resort of Le Touquet before flying to a ceremony outside Paris to mark the anniversary of Charles de Gaulle’s 1940 appeal for French resistance to Nazi Germany’s occupation.
Polls show Macron is on course to win the biggest parliamentary majority since that held by de Gaulle’s own conservatives in 1968.
Macron’s rivals have urged voters not to stay at home, warning power would be concentrated in the hands of one party and democratic debate stifled.
“We need other parties to have some weight,” 54-year-old assembly line worker Veronique Franqueville said on the parking lot of a tumble-dryer factory in the northern town of Amiens.
“If he wins it all there will be no debate.”