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Sarkozy’s UMP Tops French Local Vote as Le Pen Gains Capped

Nicolas Sarkozy.

Nicolas Sarkozy.

Photographer: Francois Guillot/AFP via Getty Images
Updated on

Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party won the most votes in the first round of French local elections on Sunday, as a higher-than-anticipated turnout denied the anti-euro National Front an expected first place.

The UMP took 27.9 percent in the first round, according to the latest figures from the Interior Ministry, with Marine Le Pen’s National Front on 25.1 percent, and President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party at 21.4 percent. Pre-election polls had shown the UMP and National Front running neck-and-neck.