FRANCE: Two Tough Rounds for the Gaullists

THERE was never much doubt that France's legislative elections would be a sharp setback for the party that President Georges Pompidou inherited from Charles de Gaulle four years ago.

The question was how much the Gaullists' recent weakness in the public opinion polls would change the National Assembly, which they had controlled for well over a decade. As the voters went to the polls for this week's first-round balloting, there were no clear answers.

Runoff. Though nothing would be certain until next week's second-round runoff, there was a good chance that the Gaullists would hang on to a slim majority,...

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