Far-right leader Marine Le Pen wins seat in French parliament

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen wins seat in French parliament

The French neofascist party, the National Front, which came in second in the presidential race with a third of the votes, only managed to win eight seats, though early projections estimated it would win 50.

The interim LREM leader, Catherine Barbaroux, said the party could now start work towards changing France.

"The president is committed to restoring confidence in public office, reforming France and relaunching Europe", she said in a statement.

Marine Le Pen reached the second round of the presidential election, capturing the support of voters increasingly disillusioned with mainstream parties, but was soundly beaten by centrist Emmanuel Macron in the run-off.

His La Republique en Marche party has won well over 300 seats in the 577-seat national assembly.

The party that Mr Macron, 39, founded 14 months ago has caused a political natural disaster, despite its 350-seat tally being lower than the 470 predicted by some polls.

Even though it failed to realize the most optimistic forecasts of winning up to 470 seats, the party has given the 39-year-old President one of France's biggest parliamentary majorities since World War II, setting the stage for his plans to carry out wide-ranging business-friendly reforms.

"The collapse of the Socialist Party is beyond doubt".

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front (FN), was elected in a constituency in the former coal-mining region of northern France, and will become a deputy for the first time.

The centre-right Republicans and their allies, who once believed they would sweep to victory this year after five years of Socialist rule, are expected to hold on to an estimated 131 seats. But it also means that Macron has the requisite mandate to push through reforms to overhaul the burdensome French welfare state - to actually revamp the ancien régime.

Starting Monday, many will be taking their first official steps in the corridors of power, invited to pick up keys and the blue-white-red sashes warn by elected officials, and learn their way around.

Just as France has its youngest ever president, the average age of lawmakers also drops sharply, from 54 in the outgoing parliament to 48 in the new assembly.

Positive developments in French politics contrasted with turbulence in Britain, where a weakened government on Monday kicked off divorce talks with the EU.

The conservative party had enough seats to "defend its convictions", said the party's leader for the elections, Francois Baroin, calling on Macron to heed the record low turnout, which he said sent "a message". She won a seat in parliament for the first time, representing Henin-Beaumont, a former mining town in the north, reports the BBC.

"One thing we can say for sure: they are all pro-European, and have a favorable view of the measures that Macron has proposed", said Nino Galetti, head of the German conservative Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Paris.