Disappointing Results for Macron and Le Pen in Regional Election

Disappointing Results for Macron and Le Pen in Regional Election

The regional elections in France are seen as a mood test for the presidential election next year – but they were met with little interest from the French. Both President Macron and challenger Le Pen suffered losses.

In the decisive second round of the regional elections in France, the party of right-wing populist Marine Le Pen, Rassemblement National (RN), could not win a single region according to an extrapolation.

In the particularly competitive southern region of Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, the RN candidate Thierry Mariani only got a good 42 per cent. The bourgeois-conservative applicant Renaud Muselier achieved more than 57 per cent. The two politicians were the only remaining applicants in the final round.

The Le Pen party, formerly known as the Front National, has never won a France region. Le Pen wanted to use a success in the south as a springboard for the national election campaign. The presidential elections in France will take place in ten months.

Le Pen is not the only loser in the regional elections: According to the extrapolation, head of state Emmanuel Macron also suffered a setback. The remaining candidates of his liberal party, LREM (La République en Marche), ended up in the lower places. The comparatively young party is hardly anchored in the regions. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal spoke of a “disappointment”.

On the other hand, the conservative politician Xavier Bertrand, who is also considered a possible presidential candidate in the coming year, received a tailwind. In the Hauts-de-France region in the north, the centre-right list led by Bertrand was forecasting a clear election victory.

Overall, according to the first projections, the regions remain predominantly in the hands of the bourgeois right and left. Like the first round last Sunday, the second round of regional elections was marked by a significantly lower turnout than six years ago.

Photo by Pietro Naj-Oleari/ Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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