With conservatives bickering, the ruling Socialist Party was expected to get a boost from local elections Sunday, the first major indicator of the party’s strength since it came to power in June.
A strong showing by the Socialists and their leftist allies would likely make it easier for them to continue reforms at the national level.
The vote comes at a promising time for the Socialists. Double-digit unemployment has started to fall - albeit slowly - and the economy is also picking up.
About 38 million voters were eligible to cast ballots Sunday. The election starts a two-week process of choosing officials to run 22 regions in mainland France and four overseas regions as well as about 2,000 cantons, subdivisions drawn up in the 18th century.
sponsored You’ve probably heard of co-ops: food co-ops, childcare co-ops, housing co-ops, energy co-ops.