PARIS - On the wave of the solid popularity of newly installed French President François Hollande, left-wing parties look to be headed for a clear majority after Sunday's first round of parliamentary elections.
First estimates give the Left -- led by Hollande's Socialist Party -- 47% of the vote, in front of Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP, with 35%, and the far-right National Front with 13-14%, according to Libération. The second round of parliamentary elections will be held next Sunday, with top vote-getters in each district facing off.
The Socialists needs 289 out of 577 seats for an absolute majority. The left-wing alliance is poised to garner between 275 and 329 seats, to which it hopes to add 8-18 green MP's (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts) and 13-20 far-left MP's (Front de Gauche).
Conservative party UMP is poised to lose it majority, but should be able to keep from 210 to 270 parliamentary seats.
National Front leader Marine LePen won more than 42% of the vote in her district in northern France, putting her in a strong position to enter Parliament. Still, record low voter turnout (around 60%) translated into a disappointing national showing for the far-right, which was unable to match Le Pen's 18-point performance in the first round of the presidential election in late April.