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Hollande urges turnout as poll shows French left winning
PARIS (Reuters) - Socialist President Francois Hollande urged France's leftist voters on Thursday to turn out in large numbers for this weekend's first round of a parliamentary election.
A survey by OpinionWay-Fiducial showed that the Socialists and smaller left-wing allies would win between 290 and 320 seats in parliament, clearing the threshold of 289 seats needed for an absolute majority. This would allow Hollande to push through legislation in the face of opposition.
The right, including the UMP party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, would win between 209 and 247 seats, with the far-right National Front likely to return to parliament for the first time since the mid-1980s with four seats.
"I call on the French to vote," Hollande said during a visit to a school in Oise in northern France. "I call on them to give a large majority, a solid and coherent one."
In the town of Henin-Beaumont in northern France, a separate poll suggested that National Front leader Marine Le Pen would win Sunday's first round in her political fiefdom but she was unlikely to come out on top of a June 17 second round.
The survey for OpinionWay-Fiducial showed Le Pen - who came third in last month's presidential election - would win Sunday's first round with 32 percent of the vote.
Left Front leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, who came fourth in the presidential ballot, would come third on 24 percent behind Socialist candidate Philippe Kemel on 25 percent, the poll said.
In a runoff, Kemel stood to beat Le Pen by 53 percent to 47 percent. She would also lose to Melenchon if he were to make the second round, the poll suggested.
(Reporting by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Robert Woodward)
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