Electoral surge of French far-right leaves only losers among mainstream parties


The dust has settled after the first round of voting in nationwide municipal elections in France, and a new political landscape has emerged even before the final round of voting next Sunday. Amid an abstention rate of more than 36%, the ruling Socialist Party has suffered a heavy defeat, likely to become a debacle in the second round. But it is the far-right Front National party which can claim victory, and not the mainstream conservative opposition. Hubert Huertas analyses the first-round results which see the far-right now become a part of the fabric of local politics in France. 

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Over the past 35 years, municipal elections in France have regularly demonstrated that they are as much about national politics as local issues, and Sunday’s punishment of the ruling Socialist Party was no exception.