Election results

France's Fading Far-Right

marine le pen laif
Marine Le Pen, leader of France's National Front, a far-right party.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The National Front’s leader, Marine Le Pen, has a chance of winning the French presidency in 2017.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The National Front is opposed to immigration and the European Union and has been accused of racism.
    • It took 25 percent of the votes in the first round of local elections in France on Sunday.
    • The conservative UMP won 30 percent and the ruling Socialist Party 21 percent.
  • Audio

    Audio

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During the past three years, the grin on Marine Le Pen’s face has grown wider and wider.

The leader of the French far-right National Front did better and better in each new election.

She could even exult about her party winning the majority of French seats in the European Parliament elections in 2014.

On Sunday evening, her grin suddenly froze. The Front did not emerge from the first round of local elections in France as the strongest party, as had been widely expected.

Pollsters who were predicting that Ms. Le Pen might win the French presidency in 2017 are now revising their assessment. The far-rightists seem to be bumping up against the limits of their popularity.

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