France 2: Ruling coalition may lose majority in parliamentary election

A French public broadcaster says the ruling coalition may lose a large number of seats in the parliamentary election and is at risk of falling short of a majority.

France 2 made the projection after the first round of voting on Sunday. President Emmanuel Macron's party and its coalition partners currently hold 60 percent of the lower house.

Candidates are vying for 577 seats in the National Assembly. If no candidate secures more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round, they will compete in a run-off on June 19.

Projections based on Sunday's results show that most electoral districts will hold run-offs.

The ruling camp is leading in the first round with 25.75 percent of the vote, but a coalition of mainly far-left parties has 25.66 percent.

The far-right party backed by Marine Le Pen, Macron's rival in the presidential run-off, made a large gain with 18.68 percent of the vote.

The ruling parties are facing mounting criticism over soaring prices of daily goods, including fuel, which have been affected by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The opposition parties are garnering support among people on low incomes in rural areas by proposing tax cuts and other measures.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne told reporters after Sunday's first round that a strong and clear majority is needed to deal with the urgent issues that are affecting people's daily lives.

She appealed for support for the ruling parties, saying that a majority is needed to stabilize the Macron administration.

Jean-Luc Melenchon of the far-left bloc urged people to definitely reject Macron's ruling parties in the second round.

Le Pen said the run-off will be an opportunity to send a patriotic and important group of lawmakers to parliament. She added that it is important not to let Macron get an absolute majority.