The far right of France failed to win any region, and President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist ruling party suffered another disastrous defeat in the second round of voting. Regional elections According to the exit polls, it was again marked by a sad turnout rate.
Marina Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) failed to achieve its main ambition to win the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region including Marseille and Nice.
A victory there will give RN control of a region for the first time, and is seen by the party as the best prospect to bring credibility to the claim that Le Pen is fit to be in power before the 2022 presidential election.
An IFOP export poll showed that the far right won 44.2% of the PACA run-off vote, while mainstream conservatives won 55.8%.
Opinionway’s second survey showed that the far-right received 45% of the votes, while its competitors received 55%.
In another game in the northwest of Upper France, the exit poll showed that the center-right vote led by another presidential contender, conservative Xavier Bertrand, easily defeated the extreme right.
In a speech after the results, Le Pen said: “Everything must be debated today in order to restore our compatriots’ desire to determine their own future. I am more determined than ever to devote all my energy and will to the recovery politics. To make it serve the French.”
📹 “Everything must be debated today in order to give back to our compatriots who determine their future wishes. I am more determined than ever to devote all my energy and will to restore politics and make it serve the French.” # Area 2021 pic.twitter.com/lUbE7hCeRC
-Marina Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) June 27, 2021
Senior conservatives say that the strong performance of the center-right wing across the country means that it is a force for change.
Soon after the vote ended, Bertrand told his supporters: “The extreme right has been blocked, and we have pushed it back significantly.”
“This result gave me the strength to fight for a national vote,” Bertrand said, secretly pointing to the election of the year.
If these predictions are confirmed, they will question the success of Le Pen’s strategy of softening the anti-immigration Eurosceptic party in an attempt to cannibalize traditional right-wing votes.
Even so, analysts say that the apparent failure of Le Pen and her party in their two base camps should not be inferred to next year’s presidential election.
French journalist Pierre Huski told Al Jazeera that far-right voters generally voted more often than other groups of voters because they tend to be more motivated-but this did not happen in the polls on Sunday.
“[Le Pen] There is a gap between the motivation of voters who count on her and the indifference of other voters. And this did not happen, she will have to answer questions about the cause of disappointment in her own party,” Huski said.
The voter turnout rate in the country’s 13 regions is very low, and voters usually have little to do with the regional government responsible for promoting economic development, transportation, and high schools.
“I really don’t know what the point is,” Helen Debott, 31, told AFP.
She said she will not vote in these polls, but will vote in the presidential election. “There, it’s obvious what is at stake.”
Opinion polls show that most French people do not know who leads their area and what these entities do.
The export polls created an unpleasant interpretation of Macron and his Republic in Action (LREM) party, confirming that although the party controls the presidency and the lower house of parliament, it failed to establish local and regional roots.
IFOP estimates predict that his party will only get a 7% approval rate across the country.
Stanislas Guerini, the head of LREM, acknowledged that the election marked “the disappointment of the presidential majority.”
Despite sending several ministers to the election, Macron himself began a national tour — he was slapped in the face by a public — in some areas, the party failed to convene the required 10% to enter the second round.
LREM has no chance to win control of a single region, and currently ranks only fifth among French parties.
Socialists are preserving several areas, partly because of the second round of agreements with the far-left French Indomitable Party and the Green European Eco-Green Party.