Macron: Regional results in France ‘bruising’ says expert
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The President’s La République En Marche (LREM) party didn’t win a single one of France’s key mainland regions in what was its first participation in local elections, since its inception in 2016. His bitter rival, Marine Le Pen, also saw her party badly underperform, as it failed to make any major breakthroughs. The main winners appeared to be the left-wing Parti Socialiste and the centre-right Les Républicains.
Mr Macron saw his party win less than 10 percent of the vote nationally, in what will be seen as a severe rebuke of the French President and his policies by the electorate.
Ms Le Pen’s National Rally party fared little better, polling just over 20 percent of the vote nationally, according to the Ifop agency.
Her party suffered a devastating defeat in its southern stronghold – the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region (PACA).
Rival parties joined together to form a “republican front” to stop the National Rally from taking the province.
Exit polls suggested that the tactic, which involved the withdrawal of the Socialist party candidate, had succeeded.
According to polling data, Les Républicains candidate in PACA, Renaud Muselier, had polled a convincing 56.6 percent of votes against the RN’s Thierry Mariani’s 43.4 percent.
Despite the poor showing of her party, Ms Le Pen insisted she would still be a candidate in the 2022 Presidential elections.
She told reporters: “I am more determined than ever to put all my energy and my will to rehabilitate politics, to make it useful and effective in the service of the French people.
“Because the presidential election appears more than ever as the election that allows for a change of policies.”
The polls were marred by unusually high abstention rates, with almost two-thirds of French voters deciding to stay at home.
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Stanislas Guerini, Executive Officer of LREM, admitted the low turn out was a serious problem for his party and French politics in general.
“This is obviously a major political fact, which cannot leave any politician indifferent,” he commented.
“We must all provide answers.”
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