France's elections for Senate are beginning with conservatives looking to regain control of France's upper house of parliament from President Francois Hollande's Socialists and their allies.

Sunday's vote is more symbolic than substantive: The lower house, the National Assembly, is controlled by the Socialists, and has final say over the Senate in adopting legislation.

But it's likely to give conservatives the ability stall Socialist policies, and amounts to an uncomfortable midterm election for the unpopular Hollande.

All French voters weren't casting ballots: The Senate is chosen by nearly 88,000 electors, including many officials and local councilors.

The mainstream right and far-right have a bigger say this year after winning municipal elections six months ago. The far-right National Front party could come away with its first Senate seat.