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French Go To Polls For First Round Of Parliamentary Election

French President Emmanuel Macron is looking for a strong performance by his new party in the June 11 election.

French voters go to the polls on June 11, with the new party of President Emmanuel Macron looking to get off to a strong start in the first of two rounds of a parliamentary election.

Macron, who easily defeated far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the presidential runoff on May 7, is seeking a clear mandate for his Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move) party.

Opinion polls show Macron's centrist party getting at least 30 percent of first-round votes, with the right-wing Republicans and allies getting about 20 percent and Le Pen’s far-right National Front getting 17 percent.

"We want a big majority to be able to act and transform France over the next five years," Mounir Mahjoubi, a junior minister in Macron's government, told Reuters news agency.

Some 7,882 candidates will be competing for the lower house of parliament's 577 seats.

If no candidate wins over 50 percent in the first round, the top two finishers advance to the second round. Any candidate with more than 12.5 percent of the vote will also advance.

Polls indicate very few candidates will surpass the 50 percent level in the first round.

Voting sites will open at 8 a.m (0600 GMT) and close at 6 p.m. (1600 GMT) in most cities. Sites in Paris and other big cities will stay
open two hours longer.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP