- 11 updates
President Hollande of France sacked his Prime Minister, after a terrible set of results for their socialist party over the weekend. France's far-right National Front party triumphed at the polls, gaining its greatest election success to date.
The party won a number of new seats in wealthy towns across the south of the country.
In a televised speech, a humble Hollande promised voters he had heard their vote against his party, and promised to listen and "start a new state."
Europe Editor James Mates reports.
French President Francois Hollande has named Interior Minister Manuel Valls as the new prime minister.
In a prerecorded televised speech Hollande said Valls would lead a "combative government". Hollande also said it was "time to start a new state" after his Socalist party suffered heavy losses in elections.
French president Francois Hollande is preparing a "major reshuffle" of his ministerial team after a poor performance from his Socialist Party in local elections
Mr Hollande is set to make a televised statement this afternoon, with his prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault among those who may lose out.
Francois Rebsamen, a Socialist senator and long-time ally of Mr Hollande, said: "I don't see how there won't be a major reshuffle."
French voters have dealt a severe blow to Francois Hollande's Socialist government in local elections.
The anti-immigration far right, which claims that France's large Muslim population is "Islamicising" the nation, made solid advances, fulfilling National Front promises to begin building a grass-roots base.
Socialist leaders conceded defeat in the final round of the voting seen as a referendum on unpopular President Hollande, who was expected to reshuffle the cabinet in an effort to give his government a boost.
France's ruling Socialist party looks set to retain control of Paris as their candidate, Anne Hidalgo becomes the city's first female mayor.
President Francois Hollande's party is heading for a big defeat in local elections as the centre-right UMP claims victory. The far-right Front Nationale party of Marine Le Pen are also tipped to make several gains.
A minor consolation for President Francois Hollande's ruling Socialists on a dreadful night in the French local elections is the anticipated victory in the Paris town hall for their candidate Anne Hidalgo, who will become the city's first female mayor.
ITV News Europe Editor James Mates has tweeted:
TV exit polls placed Ms Hidalgo on 54.5 per cent, which will see her retain control of the French capital's town hall for the Socialists.
Exit polls show that the ruling French left gets 42% of the vote in local elections, behind the opposition Conservatives on 49%.
Polls suggest the French far-right National Front party of Marine Le Pen has failed to win biggest prizes - the city of Perpignan.
Exit polls suggest candidates backed by France's far-right Front Nationale party are on track to claim victories in the southern towns of Beziers and Frejus in the local elections.
The FN already made a breakthrough in last week's first round of voting by winning power in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont.
France's far-right Front Nationale party appears to have claimed a second town in the second round of local elections in which they are expected to make significant gains.
With polls in some areas already closed, ITV News Europe Editor James Mates has tweeted:
The anticipated success in Beziers contrasted with a defeat elsewhere for the party of Marine Le Pen, which took an outright victory in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont in the first round.
Despite that success, the governing Socialists - the party of President Francois Hollande - are braced for big losses while the centre-right UMP is expected to do well.