Leftist party poised for victory
French voters will be choosing a new parliament on Sunday and the leftist party is poised for victory. It is expected that they will take a majority of the 577 seats in the National Assembly after the second round of legislative elections.
The outcome of these elections will determine how far Socialist President Francois Hollande can implement his radical economic policies.
Voting started at 8 a.m. (0600GMT) in mainland France and the final polls close in big cities at 8 p.m. (1800GMT). Polling agency projections of the results are expected soon afterward, and official results are expected late Sunday night.
Local issues were the focus of the French election campaign however the outcome will not only define this country’s political direction but will also have Europe-wide importance.
This is because France is the second-biggest economy in the Eurozone and plays a significant role in bailouts to weaker nations and often drives EU-wide policy.
Hollande’s Socialist government has pledged to reduce the deficit, but markets are worried about higher spending when France’s debts are so high.
Hollande, a moderate leftist who is committed to European unity, is hoping to get an absolute majority of 289 seats for the Socialists to avoid having to make concessions to the Euro-skeptic far left.