UMP emerges on top in local elections


France’s main opposition Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) emerged as the main winner in local elections which took place yesterday.

The centre-right UMP, led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy took around 32.5% of the vote, beating the far-right National Front (FN) led by Marine Le Pen who came second with 25.35% in early results. The Socialist Party (PS) of President François Hollande came in a poor third place with about 22% of the vote.

Yesterday’s vote was the first round for elections to France’s101 Departments and a second round will be held next Sunday, 29th March.

Opinion polls had suggested that the UMP and FN were level pegging, but the elections suggest that the FN may now have reached their high point. Although the National Front are up 10% on elections held in 2011 the results yesterday are only slightly better for them, about half a percent, than the European elections last year.

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