Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/25 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/25 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/24 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/24 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/24 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/24 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/24 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/24 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/24 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/24 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 04/22 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/24 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 04/22 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/24 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/24 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/24 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 04/22 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 04/24 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 04/22 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/24 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 04/22 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
France

Right, far-right win first round French local elections

media A conservative alliance led by Nicolas Sarkozy won the most votes. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET

A conservative alliance of former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP and the centre-right UDI party, scored the highest number of votes in local elections on Sunday, with the Front National in second place and the ruling Socialists third.

The alliance took 32.5 percent of the vote according to the latest polls, surging ahead after pre election polls put it neck and neck with the anti-EU and anti-immigration National Front (FN) led by Marine Le Pen.

The latest figures suggest the FN won about 25.35 percent, behind the 30 percent or more it was tipped to win from French voters who are dissatisfied with the stagnant economy and issues surrounding immigration.

The far-right party led the first-round vote in 43 out of 98 "departments", which have power over local issues such as school and welfare budgets, according to interior ministry figures.

The FN is expected to go through to the second round in more than half of the 1,100 "cantons", an administrative division below "departments", that will vote again in a week.

The party's best results "are concentrated in the southeast, particularly in the cities and near the cities it runs," said political scientist Jean-Yves Camus.

Provisional interior ministry figures gave the Socialists and their left-wing allies around 22 percent of the vote.

The mainstream parties will be able to call on smaller allies when voters return for run-off elections next Sunday, while the FN will struggle to find partners.

In an address last night, UMP leader Nicolas Sarkozy again clearly ruled out any electoral pacts with the extreme right, declaring: "There will be no local or national deal with the leaders of the FN."

Although the FN won even more votes than in European elections last May, on a slightly higher turnout, there was some relief among the mainstream right and left parties that the FN score was not as high as some surveys had predicted.

"Tonight, the far-right, even if it is too high, is not the leading political party in France," said Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

He called on voters to back either the left or right in next week's second-round run-offs to keep the far right from power.

FN leader Marine Le Pen remained bullish about the initial results, pointing to the fact they were higher than the party's victorious tally in last year's European polls.

"This massive vote for the National Front that is taking root in election after election shows that the French want to rediscover their freedom," she said.

Her party has capitalised on anger over France's lacklustre economy, as well as the politically explosive issues of immigration and the integration of Islam into French society after the Paris terrorist attacks.

But it has also benefited from Hollande's disastrous popularity figures.

His ratings have hit record lows, despite a temporary boost in the wake of the January jihadist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket, when he was credited with rallying the country.

 

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.