Sunday, 13 October 2013

France’s far-right National Front candidate Laurent Lopez won a hotly-contested cantonal by-election in the southern town of Brignoles on Sunday, in a vote seen as a test ahead of the 2014 municipal elections.

France’s far-right National Front (FN) party won a resounding electoral victory in the southern town of Brignoles on Sunday, defeating a centre-right candidate supported by the left and sending shockwaves across the entire political spectrum.

FN candidate Laurent Lopez won the Brignoles cantonal by-election with 53.9 percent of votes against 46.1 percent for UMP candidate Catherine Delzers, according to a final tally released by the local prefecture. The result reflects rising popularity for the anti-immigrant party led by Marine Le Pen, cementing the FN's status as a political force to be reckoned with ahead of the 2014 municipal elections.

“The significance of an election like the one in Brignoles – although it’s a tiny election in the scheme of things – is that it’s a test case of whether the FN can stand in the second round against the combined efforts of the other parties and succeed”, Jim Shields, author of "The Extreme Right in France", told FRANCE 24.

Laurent Lopez’s victory in Brignoles comes three days after a survey published in French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur described the FN as the country’s main political force. The poll said that the far-right party was tipped to secure 24 percent of the domestic vote in next May's elections for the European Parliament, ahead of both the ruling Socialist Party and the opposition UMP party.
Source: France24

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