French voters are choosing a new parliament that will determine how far Socialist president Francois Hollande can go with his push for government-sponsored stimulus around Europe.
Polling stations opened this morning around mainland France for the second, decisive round of parliamentary elections.
Mr Hollande’s Socialists and their allies dominated the first round last week and are expected to win the most seats in the 577-seat National Assembly. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservatives have led it for a decade.
Markets are worried about growth in government spending when France’s debts are so high.
France’s political direction is important to the rest of Europe because it is the second-biggest economy in the eurozone and contributes heavily to bailouts to weaker nations and often drives EU-wide policy.