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Far-right hopes to gain ground in French town

Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 01:11

Residents of a traditionally left-wing town toy with casting ballots for the National Front in local elections, as far-right party seeks to boost its national campaign. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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As France's far right National Front party seeks to boost its national campaign in Sunday's local elections, some in the traditionally left-wing town Seyne-les-Alpes say they're ready for change. (SOUNDBITE) (French) LOCAL RESIDENT, VALERIE DUBOIS, SAYING: "Up until now we've never elected Marine Le Pen so why not let her have a chance? ...Sometimes she has good ideas, let's wait and see what they're like when they're put into practice...it couldn't be any worse than what we've gone through over the last 50 years." In the first round, Le Pen's anti-EU, anti-immigration party managed to beat the mainstream right-wing opposition. President Francois Hollande's Socialists still came out on top with 33 percent. But one local resident says the emergence of the far-right is worrying. (SOUNDBITE) (French) LOCAL RESIDENT, GERARD DOYON, SAYING: "The two republican parties, the conservative UMP and the Socialists, need to move their bottoms a bit so that the National Front doesn't take hold." Overall, opinion polls see the UMP and its allies winning the election. But the National Front hopes it can at least build a solid base of locally elected officials, with its eye on the 2017 presidential election.

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Far-right hopes to gain ground in French town

Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 01:11