Yesterday’s first round of French regional elections brought some surprises. The attendance is particularly noteworthy. It was historically low yesterday. Less than one in three French people voted. In the previous regional elections in 2015, this was still one in two.
The result of the far-right National Rally Party also stands out. According to preliminary opinion polls, Marine Le Pen’s party has had a chance to rule in no less than six regions. Only in one region (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) are they actually ahead after this first round. Marine Le Pen regrets the distorted picture this result gives to the political distribution of power in the country and calls on her supporters to go to the polls in the second round: ‘After months of depriving us of our freedom, I call you to freedom. your convictions! To the patriots in the polls! ‘, it seems hostile on her social media.
The biggest winner is the conservative Republic Party (29% of the national vote according to opinion polls), ahead of second place RN (19.1-19.3%) and third place PS (16.5-17, 6%). Europa Ecologie-Les Verts (12%) also fares better than LREM, Macron’s (10%). So it was a particularly bad day for the presidential party.
An amazing result also in the north of Hauts-de-France. There, current regional president – and presidential candidate – Xavier Bertrand leaves his biggest rival Sebastien Chino (RN) far behind. President Macron has sent at least five ministers to that region, including heavyweights Gerald Darmanin and Eric Dupond-Moretti. However, the presidential party failed to cross the ten percent electoral threshold, and therefore will not advance to the second round, which will be held next Sunday. Laurent Petrasevsky (Retirement Minister and Leader of the Southern Liberal Party) immediately called for a vote for Bertrand, according to several poisoned gifts in the run-up to the presidential election in which Bertrand will run against Macron.
Also in Ile-de-France, the area around Paris, Minister of State for Civil Affairs Marlene Schiappa and government spokesman Gabriel Attal were unable to salvage the presidential furniture.
Gabriel Atal immediately described the election as a disappointment. “It is especially disappointing that we were not able to convince more French people to vote. We tried to get into the game against already well-established players in the territories and it is very difficult.”