Newspapers across France's political spectrum expressed “shock” on Monday following the victory of Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front (FN) in Sunday’s first round of regional elections.
The anti-Europe and anti-immigration FN scored just over 28% of the ballot, claiming a lead in six of 13 regions in mainland France.
The party was ahead of the conservative mainstream led by former president Nicolas Sarkozy (27%) and the ruling Socialists (23.5%).
No one party scored the 50% needed to secure outright victory in the first round. The second round will take place this coming Sunday.
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