French regional polls: Marine Le Pen-led National Front makes major breakthrough

Marine Le Pen`s party secured 29.4 percent of the vote nationally, with over 85 percent of the votes counted.

Reuters| Updated: Dec 07, 2015, 10:17 AM IST
French regional polls: Marine Le Pen-led National Front makes major breakthrough

Paris: France`s far-right National Front pulled off a historic win on Sunday, topping the vote in the first round of regional elections, in a breakthrough that shakes up the country`s political landscape before 2017 presidential elections.

Boosted by fears over the Islamic State attacks that killed 130 people in Paris on Nov. 13, as well as by record unemployment and immigration, Marine Le Pen`s party secured 29.4 percent of the vote nationally, the interior ministry said, with over 85 percent of the votes counted.

That is the highest score ever for the anti-Europe, anti-immigration party, which came first in six regions out of 13. 

"This is a historic, extraordinary result," FN lawmaker Marion Marechal-Le Pen told TF1 television. "The old system died tonight." 

Twenty-five year old Marechal-Le Pen, the granddaughter of party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and niece of party leader Marine, led the first round in southeast France with 42 percent - twice her grandfather`s score there in 2010.

Run-offs will be held on Dec. 13.