(Vatican Radio) Voters in France have been casting ballots in the final round of parliamentary elections that could clinch President Emmanuel Macron's hold on power. Sunday's vote was overshadowed by low voter turnout and widespread disillusionment with politics.
Listen to Stefan Bos' report:
Macron, who last month became the youngest President in France's history, appeared confident as he cast his ballot in a polling station crowded with reporters and other onlookers.
Outside curious crowds gathered in this northern seaside town of Le Touquet where the 39-year-old Macron voted Sunday
in the second round of elections for the 577-seat National Assembly.
French voters were expected to hand his year-old Republic on the Move party an overwhelming majority. Polls suggested that his party could even win up to 80 percent, more than 400 seats, in the lower house of Parliament.
Commentators have warned that such an outcome would send shockwaves through the more established political
order with their unity and even their survival at stake.
REPUBLICANS DOMINATE OPPOSITION
The conservative Republicans were likely to form the bulk of the opposition, but the Socialists faced a humiliating defeat.
The far-right National Front of former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was also expected to have only a minor presence in Parliament, despite their strong showing in the presidential contest.
Yet, there were indications that far less than half of France's 47.5 million voters bothered to cast their ballots.
Analysts linked the record low turnout to voter fatigue after seven months of roller-coaster campaigning and voting. France has also seen widespread disillusionment and anger with politics that could eventually complicate Macron’s reform efforts.
Rivals of President Macron's dominant new party tried to urge more voters to cast ballots. But that was not expected
to prevent him and his allies from having a crushing parliamentary majority.