France's Le Pen and niece face election defeat, polls show
The leader of France's far-right National Front and her niece face defeat in France's regional elections, polls said Thursday, despite a record-breaking first-round score for the anti-immigration party.
Marine Le Pen and Marion Marechal-Le Pen -- who turned 26 on Thursday -- seemed set for victory in Sunday's second round in the regions of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie in the north and Provence-Alpes-Cote-d'Azur in the south after strong performances in the first round that saw the anti-immigration party collect nearly 28 percent nationally.
The anti-Europe FN was seen as reaping the dividends of its tough stance on migration and Islam, three weeks after France's worst terror attacks.
But its ambitions of running a region for the first time in its history risk being foiled by the ruling Socialist Party, which has called on its supporters to switch allegiance to the centre-right Republicans in the two regions where the FN scored highest.
A poll by the TNS-Sofres institute and the LCI TV channel showed Marine Le Pen being beaten by Xavier Bertrand of the centre-right Republicans in the north, with the latter receiving 53 percent of the vote to 47 for the FN leader.
The same poll indicated that the Republicans' candidate in the south, Christian Estrosi, would score a clear victory over Marechal-Le Pen by 54 percent to 46 percent.
Another poll, by the Odoxa institute, gave Estrosi victory by 52 percent to 48 percent for Marechal-Le Pen.
© 2015 AFP