- Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, considered candidates in the race for the Elysee Palace in 2022, have emerged as losers from the first round of regional elections.
- According to Ipsos forecast, the right-wing National Rally party led by Marine Le Pen won 19.3 percent of the vote nationwide.
- According to forecasts, conservative Republicans (Les Républicains) are in first place with 28.4 percent.
- La République en Marche, led by President Emmanuel Macron, trailed the Greens and Socialists with 10.6 percent.
The RN party, the former National Front of Marine Le Pen, suffered heavy losses in favor of voters in the first round of regional elections. According to the predictions of Ipsos, the RN party took second place with about 19.3% of the vote.
In the regional elections in December 2015, Le Pen’s RN party won in the first round – with 27.7 percent of the vote. However, the party has a chance this year to win a majority in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region for the first time.
Macron’s party came in fifth
According to forecasts, the strongest force will be the conservative bourgeois republican camp with 27.2 percent of the vote.
According to forecasts, the traditional Socialist People’s Party and its left-wing partners won about 16.5 percent of the vote. Besides civil rights, they currently represent the regional president in most areas.
The green camp had about 13.2 percent and is still ahead of French Head of State Emmanuel Macron’s (LREM) party. Along with liberal allies, some of whom have better roots in the country, LREM came in at around 11 percent and landed in fifth place.
“Historically high abstention”
In regional elections, there is a very low turnout and therefore a record low probability. According to estimates, 31 to 34 percent of about 46 million eligible voters cast their ballots.
The lowest voter turnout so far in the first round of regional elections was 46.3 percent in 2010. A recent study assumes that more than two-thirds of the population stayed away from the polls.
Criticism of organizing elections
As the last nationwide decision before presidential elections in April and May, provincial and local elections are a test of mood.
The President of the Republicans, Christian Jacob, attacked the government on the TV channel TF 1 for organizing the elections. “There has never been such a mess before.”
According to media reports, some polling stations remained closed in Marseille that morning. There should have been problems with election workers. In the north of the country, ballot papers were said to be missing from an electoral office.
With elections, among other things, regional councils must be filled. The French regions have important competencies in the areas of public transport, education and economic development, but also in the social and cultural sector. The second round of voting will take place on June 27.
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