The Latest: Low turnout so far in French parliamentary vote

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The Latest: Low turnout so far in French parliamentary vote
The Latest: Low turnout so far in French parliamentary vote

PARIS (AP) – The Latest on France’s parliamentary elections (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

The turnout in France’s parliamentary election is trending low, with just over 35 percent of eligible voters casting ballots by late afternoon.

The turnout rate in Sunday’s final round of voting to fill 577 seats in France’s powerful lower house, the National Assembly, is crucial to boost opposition parties. President Emmanuel Macron’s fledgling Republic on the Move! party is hoping for a steamroller win in this election that would upend years of French political expectations. Pollsters predict that pro-Macron candidates – who only got together after his May 7 presidential win – could take up to 450 seats in parliament.

Three hours before the polls close, the Interior Minister put the turnout rate at just over 35 percent, less than the 41 percent at the same hour in the first round of parliamentary voting a week ago.

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1:40 p.m.

French authorities say 17.8 percent of voters have cast ballots so far in the final round of parliamentary elections, down from previous votes, amid concern about low turnout.

The Interior Ministry said the midday participating figures in Sunday’s nationwide voting compare to 21.4 percent at midday during the second round of the last parliamentary elections in 2012.

At midday during the first round voting last Sunday, turnout was 19.2 percent. Overall, the first-round vote saw record low voter interest, with less than half of France’s 47.5 million voters taking part overall.

Rivals of President Emmanuel Macron’s dominant new party are urging more voters to cast ballots this time in hopes of preventing him from having a crushing majority.

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9:05 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron has voted in parliamentary elections expected to hand his 14-month-old party a big majority.

Curious crowds gathered in the northern seaside town of Le Touquet where Macron cast a ballot Sunday morning in the second round of elections for the 577-seat National Assembly. His centrist Republic on the Move! party is expected to win more than 400 seats.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, a center-right politician who joined Macron’s movement, cast his ballot in the port of Le Havre.

Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen is voting in the depressed northern town of Henin-Beaumont, where she is running for a parliament seat.

Far-left ex-presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is voting in the Mediterranean city of Marseille, where he is seeking a seat as well.

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8 a.m.

French voters are casting ballots in the final round of parliamentary elections that could clinch President Emmanuel Macron’s hold on power, as his fledgling party overturns politics as usual.

Pollsters say that after routing traditional parties in last week’s first-round vote, Macron’s Republic on the Move! party could win up to 450 seats Sunday in the 577-seat National Assembly, the powerful lower chamber.

That would allow Macron to move fast with promised legislation, notably on changing labor laws to make hiring and firing easier.

Candidates from the conservative party, The Republicans, are expected to form the largest opposition group, with 70-110 seats, according to pollsters.

Less than half of the 47.5 million-strong electorate turned out last Sunday, a record low that especially punished Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party.

A volunteer holds an election card in a polling station in the final round of parliamentary elections in Bayonne, southwestern France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are casting ballots Sunday in the final round of parliamentary elections that could clinch President Emmanuel Macron’s hold on power, as his fledgling party appears set to rout mainstream rivals and turn politics as usual on its head. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)
A voter exits a voting booth after voting for the second round of parliamentary elections, in Lyon, central France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are choosing legislators for the National Assembly in the second round of parliamentary elections expected to hand a huge majority to President Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist movement, allowing him to advance his pro-business, pro-European agenda. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
French President Emmanuel Macron meets people after voting in the final round of parliamentary elections, in the northern seaside town of Le Touquet, France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are choosing legislators for the National Assembly in the second round of parliamentary elections expected to hand a huge majority to President Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist movement, allowing him to advance his pro-business, pro-European agenda. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
French far-right presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen leaves a polling station after casting her vote in Henin Beaumont, Northern France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are casting ballots Sunday in the final round of parliamentary elections that could clinch President Emmanuel Macron’s hold on power, as his fledgling party appears set to rout mainstream rivals and turn politics as usual on its head. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
A woman leaves a polling station after voting in the final round of parliamentary elections at a polling station, in Marseille southern France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are casting ballots Sunday in the final round of parliamentary elections that could clinch President Emmanuel Macron’s hold on power, as his fledgling party appears set to rout mainstream rivals and turn politics as usual on its head. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Volunteers wait for voters during the final round of parliamentary elections at a polling station, in Marseille southern France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are casting ballots Sunday in the final round of parliamentary elections that could clinch President Emmanuel Macron’s hold on power, as his fledgling party appears set to rout mainstream rivals and turn politics as usual on its head. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
People wait to cast their ballots during the final round of parliamentary elections at a polling station, in Marseille southern France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are casting ballots Sunday in the final round of parliamentary elections that could clinch President Emmanuel Macron’s hold on power, as his fledgling party appears set to rout mainstream rivals and turn politics as usual on its head. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A volunteer holds an election card, during the final round of parliamentary elections at a polling station, in Marseille southern France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are casting ballots Sunday in the final round of parliamentary elections that could clinch President Emmanuel Macron’s hold on power, as his fledgling party appears set to rout mainstream rivals and turn politics as usual on its head. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A man prepares to cast his ballot, during the final round of parliamentary elections at a polling station, in Marseille southern France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are casting ballots Sunday in the final round of parliamentary elections that could clinch President Emmanuel Macron’s hold on power, as his fledgling party appears set to rout mainstream rivals and turn politics as usual on its head. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Volunteers wait for voters during the final round of parliamentary elections at a polling station, in Marseille southern France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are casting ballots Sunday in the final round of parliamentary elections that could clinch President Emmanuel Macron’s hold on power, as his fledgling party appears set to rout mainstream rivals and turn politics as usual on its head. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A man casts his ballot in the final round of parliamentary elections in the final round of parliamentary elections at a polling station, in Marseille southern France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are casting ballots Sunday in the final round of parliamentary elections that could clinch President Emmanuel Macron’s hold on power, as his fledgling party appears set to rout mainstream rivals and turn politics as usual on its head. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Voters pick up ballots before voting for the second round of parliamentary elections, in Lyon, central France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are choosing legislators for the National Assembly in the second round of parliamentary elections expected to hand a huge majority to President Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist movement, allowing him to advance his pro-business, pro-European agenda. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
A voter walks in a polling station after picking up ballots before voting for the second round of parliamentary elections, in Lyon, central France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are choosing legislators for the National Assembly in the second round of parliamentary elections expected to hand a huge majority to President Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist movement, allowing him to advance his pro-business, pro-European agenda. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
A voter picks up ballots before voting for the second round of parliamentary elections, in Lyon, central France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are choosing legislators for the National Assembly in the second round of parliamentary elections expected to hand a huge majority to President Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist movement, allowing him to advance his pro-business, pro-European agenda. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
A voter exits a voting booth after voting for the second round of parliamentary elections, in Lyon, central France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are choosing legislators for the National Assembly in the second round of parliamentary elections expected to hand a huge majority to President Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist movement, allowing him to advance his pro-business, pro-European agenda. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
A voter exits a voting booth after voting for the second round of parliamentary elections, in Lyon, central France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are choosing legislators for the National Assembly in the second round of parliamentary elections expected to hand a huge majority to President Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist movement, allowing him to advance his pro-business, pro-European agenda. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
A voter picks up ballots before voting for the second round of parliamentary elections, in Lyon, central France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are choosing legislators for the National Assembly in the second round of parliamentary elections expected to hand a huge majority to President Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist movement, allowing him to advance his pro-business, pro-European agenda. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
A voter picks up ballots before voting for the second round of parliamentary elections, in Lyon, central France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. French voters are choosing legislators for the National Assembly in the second round of parliamentary elections expected to hand a huge majority to President Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist movement, allowing him to advance his pro-business, pro-European agenda. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
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