France’s far-right National Front (FN) made sweeping gains in European parliament polls on Sunday, riding an unprecedented surge in support for anti-EU parties and triggering shockwaves far beyond the region.
The Front, led by Marine le Pen, claimed victory against both the centre-right UMP and President François Hollande’s ruling Socialist party for the first time in a nationwide vote, Financial Times reported.
The party took 26 percent of the vote, with the main opposition UMP on 21 percent and the governing Socialists on 14 percent.
Manuel Valls, the French prime minister, called the FN victory “a shock, an earthquake that all responsible leaders must respond to”.
Commenting on the election outcome, Le Pen said: “What has happened tonight is a massive rejection of the EU”. She said it was the “first step in a long march” to the “recovery of our identity” from the EU and the end of austerity policies.
Meanwhile, the election was set to crown Nigel Farage’s UK Independence party and Greece’s Syriza as the largest parties in their respective countries, according to early results, FT said.
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