euro zone
File photo of a huge euro sculpture in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Jan. 1, 2002. Reuters

The far-right National Front has topped polls in France as countries across Europe have turned to extremist and anti-EU parties.

The National Front led by Marine Le Pen has taken its largest share of the vote in its 40-year history with 25 percent of the votes, according to pollsters. The anti-immigration party has pledged to drastically cut immigration and reduce the influence of Islam. President Hollande's Socialist Party has been edged out into third place garnering just 13 percent of the vote.

At a triumphant press conference, Le Pen, who took over the party founded by her controversial father, Jean Marie Le Pen, heralded a victory and said "the sovereign people of France have spoken loud and clear." She called on the French president to dissolve the country's government and call elections.

"The people have taken back the reins of their own destiny,' she said."This means policies of the French, for the French, by the French. They do not want to be ruled from outside."

Le Pen claims that the party today is removed from its racist and anti-Semitic roots with which it was synonymous under her father's leadership. The results have sent shockwaves throughout Europe heightening concerns that right-wing groups in the UK might similarly have received a boost in votes.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the National Front victory was "a political earthquake in France," while ecology minister Segolene Royale said: "It's a shock on a global scale."

A report by Open Europe said: "Across Europe, all eyes are on the possible surge in anti-EU, populist, anti-immigrant or anti-establishment parties."

There have been a number of successes for far-right and anti-EU parties across Europe, with early indications that a neo-Nazi candidate for the NPD party could be elected in Germany, giving the far-right a foothold for the first time in decades.

In Greece, the anti-Europe Syriza party topped polls with about 27 percent of the vote and the extreme-right Golden Dawn party looked set to enter the European parliament for the first time, with three seats and about 9 percent of the vote.

The party was Greece's third-most popular party and looked set to send three MEPs to Brussels. The extremist anti-Islam Danish People's Party also came first in that country's elections. In Italy, the Euroskeptic Five Star movement was tipped to come second.

A surge in Euroskepticism across the continent led to an increased vote for protest parties -- mirroring the increased presence by UKIP in Britain. The National Front's vote was a full 11 percent higher than the ruling Socialists.

In Sweden, the ant-fascist feminists won their first seat with the party placing in opposition to EU right-wing movements with the slogan, "Replace the racists with feminists!"

No country was allowed to declare its results until the last polling booth closed across the continent -- in Italy at 11 p.m. and at 10 p.m., both local times.