Have the regional elections changed the French political landscape?
The drubbing given to President Sarkozy's ruling UMP party has given new hope to the left wing Socialists and their coalition partners including the ecologists. They believe they may stand a chance of winning the next presidential elections in 2012. But these elections were also marked by two more troubling aspects. A record abstention rate and a return of support for the far right National Front of Jean-Marie Le Pen.