Far-right leads France regional polls
07 December 2015,Nirapad News: France’s far-right National Front (FN) appears to have made big gains in the first round of regional elections, estimates show.
They put the FN ahead in at least six of 13 regions in mainland France, reports the BBC.
The elections are the first electoral test since last month’s Paris attacks, in which 130 people were killed.
The centre-right Republicans party led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy appeared to be in second place ahead of the governing Socialist Party.
A second round of voting will be held on 13 December.
As the results became clear, the Socialist party said it was withdrawing from the second round in at least two regions, in the north and the south, to try to block a run-off victory for the FN.
Exit polls from Sunday’s vote predicted that the FN had won 30.8% of the vote, followed by Mr Sarkozy’s Republicans on 27.2% and President Francois Hollande’s Socialists with 22.7%.
FN leader Marine Le Pen, who stood in the northern region of Nord-Pas-De-Calais-Picardie, and her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen, who stood in Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur in the south, both looked to have won more than 40% of the vote, polls predicted, breaking previous records for the party.
Marine Le Pen told supporters it was a “magnificent result” which proved the FN was “without contest the first party of France”.