France: Socialists wining at local elections

Conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy’s party is losing to the Socialists in local elections in France.

Sunday saw a second round of cantonal vote to elect deputies of the general councils. According to preliminary data, the opposition Socialist Party was the big winner, securing close to 50% of the votes, Sarkozy’s UMP – 36%, and the far-right National Front – 12%.

These elections were the last in the country before the 2012 presidential campaign, and demonstrated a decline in the ruling party’s popularity.

At the same time, experts point to a record low voter turnout, with just 45% of the population showing up at the polling stations.

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