French Left Set for Victory in Parliamentary Election
France's Socialists looked set for a clear victory in Sunday's second round parliamentary vote and are likely to secure the majority needed to push through tax-and-spend reforms, polls said Friday.
The last three surveys published before official campaigning comes to a halt at midnight on Friday said President Francois Hollande's Socialists would easily take a majority of seats in the lower house National Assembly.
Pollster Harris Interactive said the party and its allies would get between 287 -- two less than an absolute majority -- and 325 seats.
Harris said the Greens, who have made a parliamentary pact with the Socialists, will get between 11 and 17 seats, while the anti-capitalist Left Front would take between eight and 10 seats.
The UMP, the party of Nicolas Sarkozy whom Hollande defeated in last month's presidential vote, would take between 202 and 263 seats in Sunday's vote, Harris said, with the far-right National Front taking up to three seats.
An Ipsos-Logica poll gave the Socialists between 284 and 313 seats, with the Greens taking 14 to 20, while a TNS-Sofres Sopra survey gave the Socialists 300 to 330 seats.
Hollande, whose party already controls the upper house of parliament, has urged voters to give him a majority to help him steer France through Europe's debt crisis, rising unemployment and a faltering economy.
The Socialists and other left-wing parties came out on top in last Sunday's first round, winning 46 percent of the vote to 34 percent for Sarkozy's UMP party and its allies.
But after a record low turnout of only 57 percent in the first round, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault urged supporters at a rally this week to keep working for a "large, coherent and unified majority".