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France's Far-Right Just Suffered A Big Defeat

But they're not done yet.

Originally posted on
Updated on

In a humbling night for the country's far-right, France's Front National party failed to win a single region in elections held Sunday, despite leading in a number of regions during first-round voting just one week ago.

With the recent terror attacks in Paris and hundreds of thousands of refugees flooding into Europe in recent months, the extreme right party has emerged as a strong political force this year.

But hopes that this support would lead to the Front National winning its first ever region failed to materialize Sunday, with the party beaten back into third place, according to BuzzFeed France.

After the party's strong first-round results, in which they led in six of France's 13 regions, President François Hollande's Socialist party pulled their candidates in some regions so voters would support the center-right Republicans of former President Nicholas Sarkozy.

"There has been a smear campaign from the 'system' and those who are part of it," Front National leader Marine Le Pen told supporters in the northern commune of Hénin-Beaumont.

Results from the second election on Sunday compared with the first-round one week ago looked very different:

Results show Socialist regions in pink, Republicans in light blue, Front National in navy, and regional parties in green.

Le Pen herself lost out to the Republicans in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, while her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen, a 26-year-old rising star in the party, also failed in her bid to take the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.

Despite being shut out yet again by France's two main parties, Le Pen was defiant in her speech.

"In its northern and southern bastions we've eradicated the evil-doing Socialist Party," she said. "Nothing can stop us now."

Le Pen is once again expected to be her party's candidate in the next presidential elections, which are scheduled for 2017.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls, a Socialist, agreed the Front National was not yet out for the count, Agence France-Presse reported. After the results, he maintained "the danger of the far-right has not been removed, far from it."

Steeve Briois, a Front National vice-president and mayor of Hénin-Beaumont, told Le Monde, "Tonight, lies and dishonesty have prevailed. It was all the media system, world leaders, those going with the flow against us. We have suffered a campaign of hatred and falsehood. "

Adrien Sénécat contributed to this report.

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at david.mack@buzzfeed.com.

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