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France right-wing parties play election catch-up

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France right-wing parties play election catch-up


France’s Socialist parties took the lead in the first round of legislative elections on Sunday. The bloc of left-wing parties is set to win a majority in the lower house of parliament in a runoff this weekend.

With less than a week to catch up, the head of France’s centre-right UMP has repeated that there will be no alliance with the far-right. Jean-Francois Copé appealed to all National Front supporters to use their runoff vote wisely to prevent the left dominating French politics.

Speaking on French TV on Sunday night, he said:
“You know there is no alliance with the National Front from a national perspective. That’s despite the Socialist candidates forming systematic alliances with the far-left. Should we condone such an electoral alliance? No, I’m not so sure.”

In the last assembly elections in 2007, the far-right National Front received just 4 percent of votes. On Sunday, their support had more than trebled. Party leader Marine Le Pen said 61 eligible candidates will take part in Sunday’s runoff.

“The Blue Marine Group tonight is resisting remarkably well, given the levels of abstention and given the deeply anti-democratic electoral system that for the last 25 years has deprived millions of voters of their members of parliament. We confirm tonight our position as the third political force in France,” Le Pen told supporters after Sunday’s results were announced.

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