France’s far-right National Front party made significant headway in the first round of regional elections yesterday. The party received the most votes in six out of 13 regions, the far-right party’s best ever electoral performance. Nationally, the National Front, under the leadership of Marine Le Pen, received 28 percent of the vote. The center-right party, Les Republicains, got 27 percent of the vote nationally, while the Socialists only won around 23 percent. In Nord-Pas-de-Calais, in northern France, where Le Pen herself was the candidate, the National Front received 40 percent of the vote.
While the party’s electoral success on the regional level will depend on next week’s second round of elections, the results of yesterday’s polls indicate that anti-establishment sentiments are growing in France. The National Front did well both in regions that were formally heavily Socialist and in regions were the center-right has traditionally been popular, indicating that a segmen