Meanwhile, support for the far-right in France is surging after the Paris attacks

From left to right - out of focus iPhone, far-right supporter, far-right politician
From left to right - out of focus iPhone, far-right supporter, far-right politician

A surge of provincial support for the far right following the Paris terrorist attacks has put Marine le Pen's Front National on course to govern two - and maybe three - French regions for the first time.

Ms Le Pen is now the overwhelming favourite to capture north-western France and the Marseille-Nice region in elections over the next two weekends, according to polls published on Sunday.

The far right is also running neck-and-neck with President Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right party, Les Républicains, in the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region in eastern France.

A series of regional polls by BVA on Sunday showed the Front National (FN) gaining between 4 and 7 per cent compared to similar polls before the terrorist assault on Paris.

The FN has never won a regional government before. The polls show a slight improvement in the centre-left vote - but not the wave of approval and solidarity with President François Hollande's handling of the crisis that the government had hoped for.

Paradoxically, Front National support in the Paris area has risen little. Pollsters said that the far right was milking a non-metropolitan, blue-collar and rural vote which, despite talk of national solidarity, blames immigration and Islam for the attacks. The FN leader, Marine le Pen, would become a representative for the North Pas de Calais-Picardie region if the polls prove correct. Her niece, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, is the party's candidate to lead the Provence-Côte d'Azur region.

More: Following Paris attacks, thirst for war in France is overwhelming

The Conversation (0)