Laurent Lopez’s local by-election win in Brignoles has given France’s far-right National Front (FN) a boost ahead of European elections next year, in which the party is widely tipped to do well.
Lopez’s win is a blow, however, for the government of Socialist French President Francois Hollande and the so-called ‘front republicain’ – an alliance of political parties united in the aim of blocking the rise of the FN.
FN Leader Marine Le Pen told reporters: “I think we can definitely say tonight that the ‘front republicain’ has failed and has disappeared. They have suffered a defeat and, it must be said, quite a heavy defeat.”
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