A sizeable parliamentary majority remains likely for President Emmanuel Macron, according to a new survey. Already, his centrist LREM party is leading in 10 out of 11 constituencies among French voters abroad.
The pollster Ipsos Sopra-Steria on Tuesday forecast that Macron's Republic on The Move (LREM) would score 29.5 percent in next Sunday's first round ballot and could end up with some 400 out of 577 seats in France's June 18 second round.
Macron needs a majority in parliament if he is to implement his ambitious reform agenda, including a controversial pro-business overhaul of labor laws and major public investments in job training and renewable energy.
The pollster's sampling of 2,103 people, conducted on June 2-4 for France Television and radiofrance, also found that 68 percent of voters had already made up their minds.
And, voters appeared little swayed by a probe against Macron's former campaign chief and now housing minister, Richard Ferrand, over rental dealings in Brittany.
Sixty percent said they remained satisfied with Macron since his presidential runoff victory over far-right leader Marine Le Pen on May 7.
In its forecast for June 18, Ipsos Sopra-Steria said Le Pen's National Front would only end up with between 5 and 15 seats. Macron's LREM would win between 385 and 415 seats.
The conservative Republicans and their allies would win between 105 and 125 seats, the Socialists between 25 and 35 and the party France Unbowed up to 22 seats.
Next Sunday's first round eliminates any candidate who gathers less than 12.5 percent of the vote.
LREM is fielding candidates - some drawn from outside politics and from the left and right of the traditional spectrum - in nearly all the 577 constituencies.
They include former Socialist labor minister Myriam El-Khomri who said while still a "woman of the left" she also favored a "culture of compromise."
Filing returns for voting abroad that took place last weekend, the French foreign office announced Tuesday that 10 out of 11 constituencies had favored Macron's LREM.
The voter turnouts, however, lay below the required quorum of 25 percent, making necessary run-off ballots between the nominal winners and runner-up in each foreign electorate.
ipj/kms (dpa, Reuters, AFP)