Aljazeera English reports in French socialists hit hard in local elections 03/31/2014:
... the [far-right] National Front won control of at least 14 towns and was on track to claim 1,200 municipal council seats nationwide, its best ever showing in local politics.Hollande's austerity policies can only alienate more voters and discourage his party base.
There was a strong showing for the main opposition, the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement, known by its French initials as the UMP, which won a string of towns and cities, including some once considered bastions of the left.
In a rare consolation the Socialists held Paris, where their candidiate Anne Hidalgo became the first woman to win the city's mayoral election.
Hidalgo defeated conservative candidate, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet.
But in total, President Francois Hollande's party was predicted to lose up to 50 cities to the mainstream right. Limoges, a town that had been run by the left for 102 years, fell to the UMP, as did Toulouse, the Champagne capital Reims and Saint Etienne and dozens of other smaller towns.
"It has been a black Sunday," said the Socialist deputy, Jean-Christophe Cambadelis.
Tags: austerity economics, eu, euro, european union, france, françois hollande, neoliberalism