Hollande hit in by-elections

France’s opposition conservative party won three by-elections yesterday despite its own internal problems, in the latest sign of trouble for Socialist President Francois Hollande. The UMP won a hat-trick of by-elections, including a seat previously held by the ruling Socialist party. “These elections constitute a setback for the government which has reacted so badly to the crisis and the risk of recession and promised too much to the French people,” said Francois Fillon, who was Prime Minister under Nicolas Sarkozy.