In Paris Socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo looks set to win the vote to become Mayor. She looks to have secured office over the UMP representative Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet.
It is the one bright note in a ballot which is on course to be a rout for President Francois Hollande’s ruling party. The mainstream right has reportedly made gains.
But it is France’s anti-immigrant National Front Party of Marine Le Penn which exit polls predict will be the biggest winner. Her anti-EU party is on track to secure power in 10 town halls surpassing its past record in the 1990s when it ruled in four towns.
Defeat for Hollande’s Socialists could lead to a cabinet reshuffle as early as the start of the week, say analysts.