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In France, President Sarkozy Braces for Electoral Wipeout

The Huffington Post - President Nicolas Sarkozy's party braced for a potential electoral wipeout in Sunday's final round of regional elections, which an alliance of the rival left hopes will give it a national sweep and a staging ground for 2012 presidential voting.

Even damage control was difficult for the conservatives.

Sarkozy's UMP party, or Union for a Popular Majority, has ended up pleading with voters to go to the polls, hoping supporters simply failed to cast ballots in the first round – the case for more than one in two French.

The participation rate was at a historic low in last Sunday's voting – some 46 percent. The Socialist-led left won 53.5 percent of the votes while the UMP-led conservatives had 39.9 percent.

Even with Sarkozy's party, some said voters were being alienated by the president and his high-speed reforms.

Former Prime Minister Alain Juppe said this week that Sarkozy must start "facing reality." Read more.

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