Front National leads in exit polls for French regional elections

"The Front National is now unquestionably the first party of France," said Le Pen

Front National leads in exit polls for French regional elections

French far-right leader and National Front Party, Marine Le Pen, leaves the polling station after voting for the first round of regional elections, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, in Henin-Beaumont, northern France (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

Marine Le Pen's Front National has come out ahead in exit polls for the first round of France's regional elections.

The far-right party is predicted to have received between 27% and 30% of the popular vote, and taken six of the country's 13 regions.

It is a massive coup for Le Pen, who received 40% of votes in the north-eastern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie. Her niece Marion Maréchal-Le Pen recieved 42% in the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.

It is by far the party's strongest ever showing in an election, as its anti-immigrant and anti-EU rhetoric has found root in a country rocked by the continuing refugee crisis and last month's terrorist attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people.

Francoise Hollande's Socialist Party, which holds the majority in the Naitonal Assembly, leads in two regions. The Republican party, led by former president Nikolas Sarkozy, leads in three.

"The Front National is now unquestionably the first party of France," Le Pen said on Twitter following the release of exit polls this evening.