03/28/2008 02:44 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Polls Predict Smaller Parliamentary Majority Than Expected For French Conservatives

President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative party appeared headed to an unexpectedly small parliamentary majority in elections Sunday, according to poll projections, though voters still gave him a comfortable mandate to open up France's economy.

Polling agencies projected that the UMP and its allies would have 341-357 seats in the next National Assembly, well above the 289 seats needed for a majority in the 577-seat body. The Socialists and their leftist allies did better than expected, with projections giving them 214-233 seats.