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Nicolas Sarkozy

In France, Sarkozy's UMP conservatives lead in local elections

In France, Sarkozy's UMP conservatives lead in local elections

France's conservative Union for a Popular Movement dominated local elections Sunday, blunting the rise of Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front.

Initial projections gave the UMP 31% of the vote in elections for 2,000 local councils, compared with 24.5% for the National Front and 19.7% for the governing Socialists and their allies.

The Socialists, who had never expected to do well in the first-round elections, had urged people to turn out and vote to prevent a far-right victory, even if that boosted the chances of former President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservatives. Turnout was 51%, up from about 45% in the same elections in 2011.

With little of the despair of a man whose...

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