Courtesy of Mish.
The Socialists were routed in the second round of French elections this weekend. The centre-right UMP party led by Nicholas Sarkozy was the clear winner but Marone Le Pen’s National Front had it best performance ever at the local level although it did not win any départements.
The Financial Times reports Nicolas Sarkozy the winner as French local polls deal blow to Socialists.
The UMP, led by the former president Nicolas Sarkozy and in an election coalition with the centrist UDI party, won between 66 and 70 départements compared with 41 previously, according to projections from polling companies.
By contrast, the Socialist party looked to have held on to between only 27 and 31 — barely half the 61 départements it controlled before.
The far-right National Front (FN), meanwhile, appeared to have made considerable ground in Sunday’s second-round vote — though it was unclear if it had done enough to win full control of any départements.
Even so, the anti-immigration, anti-euro party led by Marine Le Pen is likely to have done much to boost its national presence as it looks ahead to the 2017 presidential election. The FN has made important gains in recent years, wooing voters from both left and right, disillusioned by the lack of economic growth and high unemployment.
Following on the back of last year’s success in European elections over France’s two mainstream parties, Ms Le Pen called Sunday’s result “the foundation of tomorrow’s big victories”.
Sarkozy and Le Pen Triumph in French Local Elections
The Guardian reports Hollande Left Bruised as Sarkozy and Le Pen Triumph in French Local Elections
Front National’s strong gains mark turning point for far right in expanding grassroots presence, while win for Sarkozy prefigures likely presidential run.
The French right has made large gains in the country’s local elections, handing President François Hollande’s ruling Socialist party its third electoral drubbing in a year and raising fears for the future of the left.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s rightwing UMP party, in coalition with centrist allies, took the largest share of seats, wresting control of many traditional leftwing bastions from the Socialists.
But key to the changing political landscape in France was the strong showing for the far-right Front National, which marked a major turning-point as the party established a new grassroots presence across the country.