French local election: Sarkozy is back

France’s centre-right UMP party led by former French President Nicholas Sarkozy and its allies (UDI and Modem) have taken first place in the first round of local elections.

Centre right alliance got around 30% while Marine Le Pen‘s party Front National arrived second with about 25%, 0.5 percentage points above its European elections showing last year. (France24)

French Socialist Party, led by current President Hollande, stuck around 20%.

Marine Le Pen was hoping to repeat the result of the European election in 2014 when Front National arrived in the first position. However, Ms Le Pen called for Mr Valls to resign, celebrating what she said was a “massive vote” for her party, exceeding its performance in the European Parliament elections. (BBC)

As correctly suggested by Vincenzo Scarpetta, Political Analyst of the leading European think thank OpenEurope:

Schermata 2015-03-23 a 02.24.12

No UMP-FN alliance for the second round

French will return to polls for the second round in one week. Sarkozy ruled out any agreement “either at national or local level”.

A strong showing in the second round would further strengthen Mr Sarkozy’s hand, and help his chances of pressing ahead with another presidential bid in 2017. (The Economist)

Source: Le Monde, Le Figaro, L’Express