Voting Under Way in French Parliamentary Election

Posted June 17th, 2012 at 2:35 am (UTC-5)
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Voting is under way in France, in a second round of parliamentary elections in which President Francois Hollande's Socialists are expected to win a solid majority in the 577-member National Assembly.

Opinion polls and seat projections from last Sunday's first-round vote suggest the Socialist block could achieve at least 287 seats in the lower house of parliament. France's Senate, the upper house of parliament, is already under left-wing control.

Analysts say that will allow Mr. Hollande to enact measures he hopes will help curb unemployment and kick-start the eurozone's second-largest economy.

Mr. Hollande unseated conservative Nicolas Sarkozy in a May 6 runoff election. The new president needs lawmakers' support for him to try to persuade European Union leaders, especially German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to focus on spurring economic growth rather than enforcing further austerity in struggling European economies.