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Highlights from the first-round French regional elections 2015

Thomas Samson AFP | A woman exits a polling booth before casting her ballot during the first round of the French regional elections, at a polling station in Evry on December 6, 2015

France's far-right National Front pulled off an historic win Sunday, topping the vote nationally in the first round of regional elections, exit polls showed.

  • The National Front (FN) picked up 28% of the vote nationally, ahead of former president Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative Les Républicains party and their allies, who secured 27 percent of the national vote.
  • Marine Le Pen's FN now looks on course to take control of at least one French region for the first time in its history once the second round of voting takes place a week from now.
  • President François Hollande’s ruling Socialists came third, polling 23%.
  • The National Front party polled ahead in at least 6 out of 13 regions.
  • National Front leader Marine Le Pen and her niece Marion Maréchal-Le Pen garnered more than 40 percent of the vote in both the north region and the southeast region, with the Socialists and conservatives far behind.
  • The rate of abstention was 50 percent, prompting Socialist party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadélis to say: 'Abstention remains the number one party in France.'
  • A run-off, or second-round vote, is to be held on December 13.

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