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Paris elects first female mayor, left loses dozens of towns

Exit polls indicate that Anne Hidalgo has been elected as Paris’ first female mayor in Sunday’s run-off vote.

Hidalgo tweeted a thank you to her followers after the exit poll numbers were announced:

She told the Guardian in 2013 that being the mayor of the French capital was “the best elected job that exists.”

Hidalgo’s anticipated victory was an exception in an otherwise tough election night for President Francois Hollande’s Socialist party, which lost races in towns across the country.

According to Reuters, the Socialist party and its allies won 42 percent of the total vote, trailing the 49 percent won by the French right. The news agency cited an exit poll by survey group BVA.

Exit polling also showed Hollande’s party was set to lose power in cities such as Toulouse, Angers and Quimper.

“It’s a defeat firstly for the left. It’s a sad evening,” government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem told the Associated Press.

Based on the preliminary numbers, France’s conservative party National Front, widely known for its anti-immigration position, is expected to win a record number of town halls.

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