French parliamentary elections: Left closes in on Macron's majority

As voting in France's legislative elections begins in a first round this weekend, opinion polls suggest the leftwing coalition led by radical-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon is narrowing the gap with Emmanuel Macron's centre-right alliance and threatening to overturn the newly re-elected president's parliamentary majority. 

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Several hundred people were clamouring outside a theatre in Normandy for a glimpse of their hero when the political showman appeared at the top of a staircase to give them what they wanted. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a radical anti-capitalist, basked in cheers from the overflow crowd, then launched into an appeal for votes to help him take over France, reports The Times.