France's National Front rise 'is people's revolt against the elite' - Le Pen
Published 07/12/2015 | 05:26
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is attributing her party's historic gains in first-round regional elections to a people's revolt against the political elite.
Meanwhile, France's mainstream parties are aiming to undo the National Front victories in six of the nation's 13 regions before the final round.
Sunday's voting for leadership councils in the regions was widely seen as a response to the November 13 Paris attacks that left 130 dead and the influx of migrants to Europe.
Ms Le Pen's anti-immigration National Front chalked up scores that reached 40% of the vote in several regions, including in the north-east where she is running and in the south-east where her niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, leads the list of candidates.
Marine Le Pen's region includes Calais, where thousands of migrants live in makeshift camps in hopes of reaching Britain. The National Front scored 49% there on Sunday.
The governing Socialists, trailing in third place, announced that its candidates in those two regions would withdraw from the December 13 final round so that its voters could help the rival conservative right - and prevent far-right victories.
"It's the future of France that is at stake," party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis said on Monday.
Ms Le Pen told RTL radio: "I believe the incredible results of the National Front amounts to the revolt of the people against the elite."
In a similar message, she told BFM television that "the French people have had enough of being treated like a herd of sheep".