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French National Front Defeated In Regional Elections
InderjitS posted a topic in WHAT'S HAPPENING?This is great news. The last thing we need for French law abiding minorities is a racist leadership, on top of Hollande calling for the secular teaching of religion & Sarkozy’s political party (ump), in support of even restrictive measures on religious symbols in French public spaces. I was expecting them to make massive gains compared to previous years and more so after the attacks.. BBC News France's far-right National Front (FN) has failed to win a single region in the second round of elections, exit polls indicate. Early results suggest the party was beaten into third place, despite leading in six of 13 regions in the first round of votes a week ago. The polls predict Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right Republicans will win most seats ahead of the ruling Socialists. Acknowledging defeat, Ms Le Pen pledged to keep fighting. "Nothing can stop us. Long live the French Republic! Long live the nation! Long live France!" she told her supporters. The far right's charm offensive Marine Le Pen: Taking French National Front to new highs and lows Marine Le Pen stood as a candidate in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie. Her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen was standing in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, in the south. After both secured more than 40% of the vote in the first round, the trailing Socialist candidates in those regions pulled out so their voters could support the Republican candidate against the FN for the second round. One poll suggested Ms Le Pen secured 42.5% in the second round in her region, against the centre-right's 57.5%. Analysis: BBC's Hugh Schofield in Paris There can be no hiding that the results of the elections are a big personal blow to Marine Le Pen. She has lost the chance to govern a region and show the world that her party is serious. She has been reminded that however strongly the FN performs, the gates of power remain tightly closed. But in a way that suits her fine. Because what it all means is that nothing in France has changed. The two main parties continue sharing out the goodies (in this case deliberately conniving to keep hers as well). Meanwhile unemployment rises; terror stalks; the grim insurrectionary mood continues to spread. Marine's prospects for power may be limited, but her appeal is as strong as ever for France's growing numbers of disgruntled and disaffected. That French "ouf" of relief? It's also the noise you make when you get a fist in the abdomen. Xavier Bertrand, who is leading in Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, said the French had given "a lesson of rallying together, courage. Here we stopped the progression of the National Front." But Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls was less upbeat. He warned the "danger posed by the far right has not gone away, far from it." And Mr Sarkozy said now was the time "for in-depth debates about what worries the French", noting security concerns, unemployment and frustration with Europe. French regions have wide powers over local transport, education and economic development. According to one poll, the Republicans have secured about 40% of the nationwide vote, followed by the Socialists with 30% and the FN with 28%. Official results are expected early on Monday. The first round of voting on 6 December gave the FN the best election results in its history. It was the first electoral test since last month's Paris attacks, in which 130 people were killed - an attack claimed by the so-called Islamic State group. In the lead-up to the first round, opinion polls suggested that the popularity of the anti-immigration, anti-EU FN had increased since the deadly attacks. The FN had been hoping a strong performance would boost Marine Le Pen's chances for the 2017 presidential election.