Socialist Party

French government reels after far right 'warning shot' in vote

France's ruling Socialist Party expressed dismay Monday after two far right candidates came within a whisker of claiming 50 percent of the vote in a local by-election. In a result that reflected the extreme right's rising popularity, the representative of the Front National (FN) got 40.4 percent of votes in the first round of Sunday's by-election in the southeastern town of Brignoles while an independent extreme right candidate won 9.1 percent. The result came in an area where the far right has traditionally done well but it was nevertheless seen as symbolically significant.