PARIS (AP) — Candidates in the runoff of French parliamentary elections are hitting the campaign trail to try to lure voters to cast ballots next weekend after a record abstention rate in the first round and a likely sweep by President Emmanuel Macron’s new party.
The Interior Ministry said on Monday that less than half of registered voters cast ballots a day earlier. Those who did gave Macron’s the Republic on the Move party 28 percent of the vote – more than 12 points ahead of the closest rival, the mainstream conservatives.
Marine’s Le Pen’s far-right National Front fell flat with 13 percent of the vote.
Macron’s rivals fear the elections will produce a virtual lack of opposition to counter an all-powerful president. Projections show pro-Macron candidates dominating parliament’s 577-seat lower house.