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Sarkozy's UMP ahead in French local elections - exit polls

Published:Sunday | March 22, 2015 | 6:08 PM

Exit polls in France suggest Ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative UMP and its allies are leading voting in the first round of French local elections.

They pushed the far-right National Front into second, with President Francois Hollande's ruling Socialists in third.

Voters are electing representatives in 101 departments, or counties, charged with issues like schools and welfare. A second round of voting will take place in a week's time.

Hollande's third place in the estimated results, released after polling closed on Sunday, follow on from defeats in municipal and EU elections last year.