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Front National gaining ground in France, Socialists on decline

NF candidate Etienne Bousquet-Cassagne

In the latest election for a French seat in parliament the ruling Socialist party was humiliated when their candidate came in third place behind the National Front.

In 2012, Socialist candidate Jérôme Cahuzac won the seat with 61%. He recently stepped down after a tax evasion scandal.

In the first round of a special election to take his place, Socialist Bernard Barral came in third place with 23.7%. The UMP’s Jean-Louis Costes, a local mayor, won 28.7% of the vote, while the Front National’s Etienne Bousquet-Cassagne received 26%.

In the second round, Costes only beat the Front National candidate by a few percentage points. He got just under 54%. In the past there has been a broad alliance among the major parties to united behind whatever candidate is running against the Front National in second round elections. This election suggests that the alliance is breaking down.