Elections May Hurt Sarkozy

PARIS -- President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative party was braced for a possible setback as voting got under way Sunday in local elections, his first electoral test and a barometer of his party's political strength.

Sarkozy's conservative Union for a Popular Movement was hoping to hang on to two of France's largest cities in Sunday's second and final round, after a setback on March 9, when it finished slightly behind the Socialist Party.