French President Francois Hollande's Socialists and allies have topped first-round parliamentary elections and look set to secure the majority needed to push through reforms.
The election also saw a surge in support for Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front, which wants to ditch the euro and battle against what she calls the "Islamisation" of France.
The Socialists, Greens and allies won around 46% of the vote, ahead of the 34% for ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing UMP party and its allies, the final results released by the interior ministry showed.
Pollsters TNS Sofres, Ipos and OpinonWay agreed that the Socialists and close allies might win between 283-329 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly or potentially as many as 329 and could hold power in the parliament without relying of the votes of the Greens or the anti-capitalist Left Front.
Mr Hollande defeated Mr Sarkozy in last month's presidential election and wants voters to give him a strong mandate to enact reforms as France battles Europe's crippling debt crisis, rising joblessness and a stagnant economy.
If next week's second round confirms yesterday’s results, it will boost his status in Europe as champion of the movement away from German-led fixation on austerity towards growth, which he favours as the solution to the economic crisis.
The daily Les Echos summed up the media mood on the elections, talking of a "measured support for the president."
A month after Mr Hollande's victory at the polls, "there was no red wave, and there was an unprecedented failure to mobilise voters," it added.
Nationwide turnout was put at 57%, a record low for a first round of legislative elections.