Local elections put Centre-right ahead
Early reports from the first round of the French local elections which took place on Sunday suggest that the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) have won around 48% of the vote with President François Hollande’s Socialist Party (PS) taking 43%. The far-right National Front (FN) looks set to have taken around 7% of the vote and they are in the lead in about a dozen towns across the country, a very good result for them.
The FN leads in towns including Béziers (44.7%), Perpignan (33.8%), Avignon (29.8%) and Fréjus (nearly 40%) according to The Connexion whilst it is in second place in Nîmes, Reims, Quimper, Amiens, Saint-Etienne and Tourcoing. Other towns where the FN has done well are Villeneuve-sur-Lot and Beziers.
Most of the large Communes will be voting again on 30th March because candidates and lists failed to gain more than 50% of the vote.
Meanwhile turnout was at an all-time low in the first round at 60.5% compared with 66.5% in 2008.