The far-right National Front (FN) has gained ground in French local elections which suggests there really might be a national rise in support now that Marine Le Pen has succeeded her father Jean-Marie as the party leader.

Back at the beginning of this month opinion polls, as we reported in Crikey, showed Ms Le Pen as a front runner in the race to be the next President and while the party’s vote at the weekend did not reach the level shown by the pollsters it was nonetheless better than it had done before in elections for France’s cantons – the country’s smallest administrative units. Having polled about 15% of the vote, the FN will now take part in the second round of voting in some 400 cantons.

The biggest share of the votes at the weekend went to Socialist Party candidates.