The Latest: French conservatives keep majority in Senate

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PARIS – The Latest on France's Senate election (all times local):

7:40 p.m.

Partial official results show France's conservatives on track to keep their majority in the Senate, with President Emmanuel Macron's party trailing as his popularity suffers.

Interior Ministry results after Sunday's vote showed the conservative Republicans keeping most of their seats and gaining a few. A senator from Macron's Republic on the Move! party said it came in third place.

Around half of the 348 Senate seats were up for grabs in Sunday's vote. Senators are not chosen by public vote, but by elected officials.

French broadcasters' projections say the conservatives will have between 146 and 156 seats overall after Sunday's vote, with around 22 for Macron's party, which was only created last year.

The results damage Macron's legitimacy but should not prevent him from passing key promised changes to France's economy because the conservatives back them too.

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9:30 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron's unconventional political party is fighting to make its mark on the Senate in an election Sunday for half the seats in the upper house — but the results are likely to reflect mounting disenchantment with Macron's leadership.

His centrist Republic on the Move! party, created just last year, won a large majority in the lower house of parliament in June elections, but is unlikely to do the same in the Senate.

Polls suggest the conservative Republicans party will consolidate its dominance of the chamber's 348 seats instead. Macron's party is likely to seek alliances in the Senate with other centrists and moderate Republicans and Socialists to approve his business-friendly economic reforms.

The senators are not chosen by the public but by some 75,000 elected officials — mayors, legislators, regional and local councilors. Nearly 2,000 candidates are running for 171 Senate seats.

It's the first time Macron's party is competing in a Senate election since he created it to shake up French politics.

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