French anti-euro National Front candidate wins local byelection

Laurent Lopez takes 53.9% of the vote in Brignoles in the south of France

 National Front party candidate Laurent Lopez gives a thumbs-up after winning the second round of the local byelection in Brignoles, France, yesterday. Photograph: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

National Front party candidate Laurent Lopez gives a thumbs-up after winning the second round of the local byelection in Brignoles, France, yesterday. Photograph: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

Mon, Oct 14, 2013, 01:00

France’s anti-euro National Front won a local byelection in the country’s south, riding on the discontent with François Hollande’s Socialist presidency and the disarray in the opposition UMP party. The National Front candidate Laurent Lopez took 53.9 per cent of the vote in the town of Brignoles to win a seat on the local department’s council.

Catherine Delzers, the candidate of former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party, won 46.1 per cent, according to France 2 television.

The victory is a warning to both the Socialists and the UMP that Marine Le Pen’s National Front may be turning into a party that speaks for the discontent of a population struggling with the highest unemployment in 14 years.

“This vote shows we bring solutions for the questions the French are asking,” Ms Le Pen said.

With major municipal elections in France coming up in March and European parliamentary ballots in May, the victory puts both the Socialists and the UMP on notice to find ways to stem the rising popularity of the National Front. – (Bloomberg)