France elections: National Front leads in regional polls


France's far-right National Front (FN) appears to have made big gains in the first round of regional elections, estimates show.

They put the FN ahead in at least six of 13 regions in mainland France.

The elections are the first electoral test since last month's Paris attacks, in which 130 people were killed.

The centre-right Republicans party led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy appeared to be in second place ahead of the governing Socialist Party.

A second round of voting will be held on 13 December.

As the results became clear, the Socialist party said it was withdrawing from the second round in at least two regions, in the north and the south, to try to block a run-off victory for the FN.