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Two Losses Seen for National Front in French Runoffs

  • Reuters

FILE - The National Front's Marine Le Pen, shown delivering a speech in Marseille, France, in September, would lose a runoff in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, a poll shows.

FILE - The National Front's Marine Le Pen, shown delivering a speech in Marseille, France, in September, would lose a runoff in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, a poll shows.

France's far-right National Front will not garner enough votes in election runoffs to win two key regions where it had come out on top in a first round of voting, a poll showed Wednesday.

France will hold the runoffs Sunday. Marine Le Pen's anti-Europe, anti-immigrant party scored record gains in the first round, boosted by fears over the Islamic State attacks in Paris that killed 130 people last month.

In the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, Le Pen would win 47 percent of the vote while former minister Xavier Bertrand with the conservative Republicains would get 53 percent, the TNS Sofres-OnePoint poll showed.

In the southern Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region, Le Pen's niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, would get 46 percent against 54 percent for Christian Estrosi, the conservative mayor of the Riviera city of Nice.

The National Front's gains in the first round came largely at the expense of the ruling Socialists, who have called on their candidates to pull out of the elections in the two regions as well as an eastern region to increase the chances of losses for the National Front.

Sunday's vote will be a key for hopes of would-be candidates preparing for the next presidential election in 2017.

The poll for newspaper Le Figaro and television channel LCI was conducted online Dec. 7-8 with 803 respondents in both regions.

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