The French left made a big comeback on Sunday—at President Nicolas Sarkozy’s expense. The vote is seen as kicking off the 2012 presidential elections in France, and Socialist Party members were joyous over winning 54 percent of the nationwide vote. Sarkozy’s UMP party pulled in just 35.5 percent. Socialists were hoping to sweep all 26 regions, and they came close, winning all except for Alsace. Turnout was low at 51 percent. Sarkozy’s chief of staff blamed the recession for voters’ anger and said the president would respond to the results with a “modest reshuffle” of the government.