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Far-right surges in French elections

Monday, December 07, 2015 - 01:30

France's far-right National Front has pulled off a historic win in Sunday's first round of regional elections, in a breakthrough that shakes up the country's political landscape. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Three weeks after the deadly Paris attacks... France wakes up to a seismic shift in their political landscape. The first round of the country's regional elections, Sunday, handed the far-right National Front a stunning victory. It's anti-immigrant, anti-Europe platform secured a whopping 29 percent of the vote nationally, coming first in six regions out of 13, and largely at the cost of the Socialists of French President Francois Hollande. It was a result boosted by voter's fears not only of Islamic State but also discontent over record unemployment and immigration...although not all voters liked the party's message. (SOUNDBITE) (French) COMMUTER ON HIS WAY TO WORK, VADIM, TALKING ABOUT THE NATIONAL FRONT PARTY, SAYING: "They use a feeling of helplessness and unhappiness of people but they do not propose viable solutions." That's hardly the view of National Front leader Marine Le Pen. She told reporters her party won because the French are tired of a Socialist government that doesn't listen to its own people. (SOUNDBITE) (French) NATIONAL FRONT FAR-RIGHT PARTY LEADER, MARINE LE PEN, SAYING: "There is no surprise in yesterday's results. This trust will continue to grow, I'm telling you so that next time you won't be surprised either. Prepare yourselves psychologically." Whatever happens in the runoffs on December 13, Sunday's election results mean French politics are now clearly a three-way race … ending decades of political domination by the Socialists and conservatives.

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Far-right surges in French elections

Monday, December 07, 2015 - 01:30