French Local Elections Don't Bode Well For Socialist Party

France's Socialist Party took major losses in local elections, which many see as a bad sign for the presidential elections in 2017.
Posted at 11:12 PM, Mar 29, 2015

According to exit polls, France's Socialist President François Hollande saw his party suffer major defeats in local elections Sunday as the conservative UMP party took a large share of the vote. 

The UMP, led by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, took a majority in at least 66 of the 98 local districts that voted on Sunday. That's a big increase from the 41 they hold currently. (Video via The Telegraph)

Many are looking at these local elections as a test of the political waters ahead of 2017's presidential election. 

The UMP Partly has been taking advantage of Hollande's unpopularity with voters amid high unemployment rates. 

The far-right National Front party also made small but widespread gains, in what The Guardian calls an election performance that "[cements] the Front Nationals's transformation from what was once a simple national protest vote to a locally anchored movement."

With many voters turning away from Hollande's socialist party to his rivals on the right, some outlets are pointing to Sunday's results as a sign of a changing political landscape in France.

French Prime Minister Manual Valls admitted defeat for his Socialist party, saying, "The French have declared ... their anger at a daily life that is too difficult." He said his focus going forward will be to boost the economy and create jobs. (Video via Euronews)

This video includes images from Getty Images.