National Front efforts to win French regions thwarted as Le Pen loses out

(CNN)France's far-right National Front party has lost its bid to win control of a region for the first time.

The anti-immigration party stunned the French political establishment last week when it claimed the largest share of the national vote in the first round of regional elections.

It also led in six of France's 13 regions, prompting the governing Socialist Party to yank candidates who were trailing in key regions to avoid splitting the anti-National Front vote.

That approach appeared to have worked Sunday in the second round of voting, according to results from the Interior Ministry.

National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who had appeared to be on the cusp of winning the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, lost out to center-right candidate. Her niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, was similarly defeated in the southern Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur.