French President Francois Hollande's Socialists won an absolute parliamentary majority today.

The Socialist bloc secured between 296 and 321 seats in the parliamentary election runoff, according to reliable projections from a partial vote count, comfortably more than the 289 needed for a majority in the 577-seat National Assembly.

The left-wing triumph means Mr Hollande, elected in May, will not need to rely on the environmentalist Greens, projected to win 20 seats, or the Communist-dominated Left Front, set for just 10 deputies, to pass laws.

The centre-left already controls the upper house of parliament, the Senate.

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the result was a vote of confidence in Mr Hollande's government that would enable it to forge ahead with its economic and eurozone policies.

"With this majority, the government has the support and the confidence to push ahead with our plans," he said.

"Europe's future is at stake in the weeks ahead."

The far-right National Front achieved a breakthrough, winning its first parliamentary seats since the late-1980s in the wake of an anti-euro presidential election campaign by its leader Marine Le Pen.

Ms Le Pen narrowly lost her race in a working-class northern town, but her 22-year-old niece, Marion Marechal Le Pen, granddaughter of the anti-immigrant party's founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, was elected in the southern town of Carpentras.

Two other National Front-backed candidates won seats nearby.