05:35 GMT +313 November 2019
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    Strong Election Gains Predicted for France's National Front

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    Opinion polls taken ahead of Sunday's regional elections in France have put the right-wing Front National party in a joint lead over the ruling Socialist party.

    France's populist Front National [FN] party is leading in opinion polls taken on the eve of regional elections which will elect the membership of the country's 101 departmental councils, and is hoping to make significant gains in Sunday's first round of voting, which will be followed by a second round on March 29.

    Polls taken in the week running up to Sunday's election put support for Marine Le Pen's party at around 30 percent; it tied with the conservative UMP party, led by former president Nicholas Sarkozy.

    President Francois Hollande's Socialist Party and left-wing allies are expected to be the biggest losers from the National Front's surge in popularity, with polls suggesting the SP faces losing more than half of the 50 departmental councils they currently control. The FN is hoping to build on its success in last year's European Parliament election, when it led with 25 percent of the popular vote.

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    France, local elections, elections, Front National, Marine Le Pen
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