French far-right party the National Front (FN) made significant gains in the first round of regional elections today.
The party secured 29.4 per cent of the vote nationally, and came first in six out of 13 regions.
Marine Le Pen, leader of FN, said: “We're just in the first round, but we hope to have as big a lead as possible so the momentum is the strongest possible.
"I trust the voters because they have seen us work ... and that's why they are moving towards us.”
And her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen, who is also a member of the party, said: "This is a historic, extraordinary result. The old system died tonight."
Meanwhile, former President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative Republicans party and their allies came second in the overall national vote, at just under 27 per cent, ahead of the ruling Socialists at 22.7 per cent, according to an interim count of the votes.
Security at polling stations in Paris was ramped up, following the terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic State last month.