The new, British-born swing toward socialism in Europe had spread to France. Last week's cantonal (local) elections proved as much, produced other pointers for the all-important national elections late this month. Significant electoral straws:
¶ France was still going left, but not so far left as many had expected.
¶ The Communists did not lose ground. But they gained surprisingly little; they were definitely in the minority.
¶ The great gainers were old Leon Blum's Socialists, in league with Foreign Minister Georges Bidault's youthful, lusty Mouvement Républicain Populaire (Socialist Christian movement).