France's far-right camp scores big gains in 1st round of parliamentary election

French media are reporting that the far-right National Rally party and its allies are the biggest winners in Sunday's first round of snap parliamentary elections, taking more than 33 percent of the vote. The ruling coalition led by President Emmanuel Macron came in third.

The figures were based on final results released by the Interior Ministry on Monday.

The media said the far-right alliance clinched 33.2 percent of the vote for the lower house of the National Assembly, the newly formed leftist alliance New Popular Front came in second, winning 28 percent, while Macron's centrist group came in third with 20.8 percent.

Candidates in 76 of the 577 electoral districts were elected outright with at least 50 percent of the vote in the first round.

France's leading newspaper, Le Monde, said that 39 of those elected belong to the National Rally and its allies, while 31 are from the New Popular Front and two from Macron's camp.

The second round of voting will take place on Sunday in 501 districts, or more than 80 percent of the total. There are over 300 electoral districts with at least three candidates reportedly moving forward to the second round.

Some members of the ruling coalition and the New Popular Front say that they need to avoid diluting votes in order to counter the far right.

They say they are prepared to withdraw their candidacy according to the situation in the various electoral districts and cooperate in unifying candidates.

Attention is now focused on how far such moves will spread before the second round.