More Paris news: Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party is making a beeline towards a landslide in the French parliamentary election, according to first round polls. UMP could win at least 383 of 577 seats, meaning a serious mandate for Sarko to push through rightish economic reforms. But the election is anyone's game until next week's second round.
The Socialist party continues a losing streak, and may give up half of its 149 seats. Turnout in the first round came in a exceptionally low by French standards—about 61%, over 20 points below last month's presidential contest. "Many people seem less interested in the parliamentary elections because they think Sarkozy will win a large majority anyway," says a Parisian voter.