French FN collapses in regional runoff elections
Dec 14, Paris: France's far-right National Front (FN) has collapsed in French regional elections Sunday. It failed to take a single region in the second round of municipal elections, preliminary results show.
They indicate that Marine Le Pen's party has been beaten into third place, despite leading in six of 13 regions in the first round of voting.
Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right Republicans are set to win most seats ahead of the ruling Socialists.
The failure of the National Front to gain any of the six regions where it was leading didn't stop the anti-immigration party from looking to the 2017 presidential election — Le Pen's ultimate goal, media reports said.
She blamed the outcome on the mainstream parties which joined forces to keep the FN from power, telling her supporters they had been disenfranchised in the most indecent of ways by a campaign of lies and disinformation.
Le Pen stood as a regional presidential candidate in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, while her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen was the FN's candidate in the race in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, in the south.
After both led with more than 40 percent of the vote in the first round on 6 November, the Socialist candidates in those regions pulled out so their voters could support Republican candidates against the FN in the second round.
The Oslo Times