Originally posted on National Post | News:
PARIS — Socialist President François Hollande looked set to consolidate his grip on power with a left-wing majority in parliament after a first-round vote on Sunday, and may be able to govern without relying on hard leftists hostile to closer European integration.
Initial projections by polling agencies based on a partial vote count suggested his core Socialist bloc could win 283 to 329 seats in the 577-member National Assembly in next Sunday’s runoff, shifting the lower house to the left for the first time in a decade.
With Greens allies, the left would have 295 to 347 seats, the CSA polling institute forecast, well ahead of the mainstream conservatives with 210 to 263 seats, and more than the outright majority of 289 needed to give Hollande a free hand.
The Ipsos institute drew similar conclusions from its own projections based on a partial vote count, while TNS Sofres was…
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