French far-right rises in first elections since Paris attack

French far-right National Front makes major breakthrough in first elections since Paris attacks, coming in first in six regions out of 13

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

French National Front Party leader and candidate Marine Le Pen arrives to deliver her speech after the announcement of the results during the first round of the regional elections in Henin-Beaumont, France on December 6, 2015 (Reuters)

Updated Dec 13, 2015

The first round of regional elections after the deadly Paris attacks on Nov. 13 resulted in a major breakthrough for French far-right National Front (FN), gaining the highest vote ever as an anti-Europe, anti-immigration party, coming first in six regions out of 13.

FN secured 29.4 percent of the vote nationally and former President Nicola Sarkozy’s conservative Republicans Party and their allies came second in the nationwide vote with under 27 percent, with the Socialists in third place with 22.7 percent.

Marine Le Pen, who is preparing to run for president in 2017, said that FN was "without contest the first party of France," describing the results as “magnificent.”

The elections were held under a state of emergency and three weeks after the deadly Paris attacks, carried out by DAESH terrorists in which 130 people were killed.

The elections were seen as a gauge of public support for the government’s response to the Paris attacks.

The FN’s success came as thousands of refugees who fled conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa boosted support for Eurosceptic parties across Europe.

The second round of elections will be held on Dec. 13, which will be the last election before presidential elections in 2017.

TRTWorld analysed the rise of France’s far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

TRTWorld and agencies