PARIS — President Nicolas Sarkozy was huddling with top allies after the French left defeated his fellow conservatives in Senate elections — a rebuff less than seven months before France’s presidential election.
A conservative former prime minister was among Sarkozy allies calling for a new tack from him after the weekend electoral drubbing in which the opposition Socialists gained a thin majority in parliament’s upper house.
The presidential palace said Sarkozy conferred at his office Monday with Prime Minister Francois Fillon and Jean-Francois Cope, the head of the conservative UMP party. Neither man spoke on the way out of the meeting.
Agriculture Minister and UMP platform chief Bruno Le Maire, on Radio Classique, called the election a “serious warning” to governing conservatives.