France’s anti-immigrant, anti-euro National Front party could win two regions in local elections next month and might get as many votes as its conservative and centrist rivals combined, according to opinion polls published on Sunday.
Marine Le Pen’s National Front would get 28 percent of votes in the first round of elections starting Dec. 6, the same as a combination of parties including Nicolas Sarkozy’s Republicans and the centrist MoDem, according to an Ifop opinion poll published in Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper. President Francois Hollande’s Socialists would get 22 percent, with as many as 54 percent of voters abstaining, according to the survey.
A separate BVA poll showed Le Pen’s party could win the Province-Alpes-Cotes-d’Azur and Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie regions if the traditional right and left parties don’t agree on a way to block it. The conservatives are seen winning in four regions, including Ile-de-France, which encompasses Paris and its suburbs, while the Socialists may retain three regions. The outcome is uncertain in three regions, including Normandy.
The regional elections are the first political test for Hollande since the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. With the country reeling from the violence and grappling with border controls, National Front candidates are showing “a significant increase” in support across the country, BVA said.