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Senate Elections - 28 September 2014

Left-leaning leaders fraced defeat in France’s Senate in elections on 28 September 2014, only three years after they won a historic majority in the upper-house of parliament - the first time since the end of World War II. But the brief tenure was not inconsequential. Half of the Senate’s 348 seats were at stake, in a vote where the outcome was determined by an electoral college, not by ordinary French voters at the ballot box. French conservatives reclaimed the chamber: the electoral college was largely made up of local mayors, and the right-wing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party swept municipal elections in March 2014.

The far-right National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, won its first ever seats in France's upper house of parliament. The party took two seats in the Senate, following on from its surprise victory in European parliamentary elections in May and its strong showing in municipal elections in March. The main opposition party, the UMP, and the center-right UDI party took at least 20 seats from the Socialist party, which had a Senate majority of just six heading into the election.

French voters’ approval of President François Hollande jumped by 21 percent, France 24 said, citing a survey published 19 January 2015. According to the Ifop polling institute, Hollande’s approval rate had more than doubled, from 19 percent to 40 percent, in the wake of the attacks against satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris. The leap was unprecedented in French polling history, and the only similar case was when then President François Mitterrand’s rating "jumped 19 percent during the 1991 Gulf War,” said Ifop’s Frederic Dabi.




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