Jean-Luc Mélenchon, reacting à chaud to the first results of the cantonal elections: "La droite prend une tannée." The announcer on France Culture described this language as "très mélenchoniste," but to my ear it sounds like a direct translation of what Barack Obama said about the Democrats last November: "We took a shellacking." The only difference is that Obama was describing his own party's failure, while Mélenchon is describing his enemy's failure. Early signs are that the UMP has done very badly indeed, and this will lead to calls for Sarkozy to step aside as candidate in 2012. The mood in the Élysée tonight must be rather dark. À suivre.
UPDATE: Le Monde
Le PS a recueilli 35,05 % des voix au second tour des élections cantonales dimanche, devant l'UMP (18,89 %), tandis que le Front national en a récolté 10,01 %, selon les premières estimations du ministère de l'Intérieur.
Symbolic FN losses: Louis Aliot, Marine Le Pen's compagnon, and Steeve Birois, another party heavyweight, both lost. It seems that UMP voters stayed home and did not vote for these FN leaders.