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'Disaster' for Hollande as National Front races ahead

European election results in France are a "disaster" for the country's President Francois Hollande, ITV News' Europe Editor James Mates told Good Morning Britain.

He said the rise of the National Front in France has been building more steadily over time, in contrast to the sharp jump in support for Ukip among British voters.


Election performances from around Europe

  • In the Netherlands, the anti-Islam, Eurosceptic Dutch Freedom Party of Geert Wilders' - which plans to forge an alliance with Le Pen - finished joint second in terms of European Parliament seats behind a pro-European centrist opposition party.
  • In Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's centre-left Democratic Party was holding off a strong challenge from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of former comic Beppe Grillo, according to a first exit poll.
  • In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats were set to secure 36 percent of the vote, down from a 23-year-high of 41.5 percent in last year's federal election but still a clear victory. The centre-left Social Democrats, her coalition partners, were forecast to take 27.5 percent.

Anti-immigration parties see gains in Nordic countries

The anti-immigration Danish People's Party became the country's biggest party in Europe, echoing successes for the political right across much of the bloc in elections to the European Parliament, preliminary results show.

While the Nordic region remains liberal and open, right wing parties' portrayal of welfare benefits under threat from immigration have struck a chord with some voters, also helping the Sweden Democrats to win EU seats for the first time.

Finland's right wing The Finns Party, won a second EU seat, but fell short of pre-vote forecasts, preliminary results showed.

French National Front could win 25 European seats

Marine Le Pen addresses media in Paris. Credit: Reuters

Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front have stunned France's political elite by taking first place in European Parliament elections, with President Francois Hollande's Socialists beaten into a poor third, provisional results showed.

It was the first time the anti-immigrant, anti-EU party had won a nationwide election in its four-decade history.

If the results are confirmed, it could secure as many as 25 seats in the new European Parliament, more than eight times the three it won in 2009.

"The people have spoken loud and clear," a triumphant Le Pen told cheering supporters at party headquarters in a northwestern suburb of Paris.


Le Pen calls for dissolution of French National Assembly

Marine Le Pen speaks with reporters after leaving a polling station during the European Parliament election. Credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

National Front leader Marine Le Pen called for the dissolution of the French National Assembly after exit polls showed her anti-immigrant, Eurosceptic party winning European Parliament elections in France.

"What else can the president do after such a rejection?" Ms Le Pen said.

"It is unacceptable that the assembly should be so unrepresentative of the French people."

French socialists pasted in polls as far-right makes gains

Marine Le Pen, France's far-right National Front political party leader, gestures as she delivers a speech. Credit: Reuters\Pascal Rossigno

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.

Polls suggest French far right fail to win biggest prize

Polls suggest the French far-right National Front party of Marine Le Pen has failed to win biggest prizes - the city of Perpignan.

Front Nationale tipped to gain two southern towns

Front Nationale leader Marine Le Pen has celebrated her party's success with new mayor of Henin-Beaumont, Steeve Briois. Credit: Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

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.

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