French President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservatives appear headed for a landslide win in Sunday's first round of parliamentary elections.
With most of the votes counted, Mr. Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement and its allies are projected to win at least 440 seats in the 577 seat National Assembly.
The opposition Socialists are expected to win at least 100 seats -- a large drop from its current number.
Voter turnout was 61 percent -- a record low for a French parliamentary election. Runoff elections will be held next Sunday for seats where no candidate wins a majority.
A conservative victory will help Mr. Sarkozy get his large package of economic and social reforms through parliament, including tougher sentencing for criminals, tighter immigration rules, and tax-free overtime pay for workers.
Mr. Sarkozy defeated Socialist candidate Segolene Royal in last month's French presidential election. Royal and the Socialists had called for a big voter turnout in the parliamentary elections, hoping the party could make a comeback.