French Local Elections: Conservatives Triumph Over Left
France’s opposition conservative UMP Party has made big gains in local elections, at the expense of the ruling Socialists.
The UMP, led by ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, boosted the number of councils it controls from 40 to 67 in the vote.
President Francois Hollande’s Socialists and other leftists won 34 councils - down from 61 previously.
Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front (FN) won at least 60 seats but failed to get control of any council.
The elections are seen as a key test of public opinion ahead of the 2017 presidential election.