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For the last three years France's upper chamber of parliament, the Senate, has been under the political control of the Left, a rarity in the history of the Fifth Republic. On Sunday that brief interlude ended when, as expected, the Right regained control of the chamber during partial elections, with the centre-right faring especially well. And for the first time the far-right Front National gained entry to the Senate, picking up two seats. Meanwhile the ruling Socialist Party took comfort from the fact that a number of its candidates fared better than expected, though there were some symbolic defeats for key allies of President François Hollande. Mathieu Magnaudeix analyses the significance of the weekend's elections.
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