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France right-wing edges out National Front in local elections

Polling station staff count votes after the first round of the French departementales elections on March 22, 2015 in Ortaffa, southern FranceFrance’s right-wing parties, led by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, edged out the far-right National Front to take first place in local elections, in a crucial test ahead of 2017 presidential elections. The conservative alliance, including Sarkozy’s opposition UMP, took 32.5 percent of the vote according to the latest polls, ahead of the governing Socialist Party led by much maligned President Francois Hollande. The anti-EU and anti-immigration National Front (FN) led by Marine Le Pen, which had dominated the airwaves during the campaign, fell short of polls that had put it in the lead in the run up to the elections.

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