Wednesday, May 18

Socialists and the traditional right beat Marine Le Pen in French regional elections

France this Sunday held the second and last round of the regional elections, which, one year after the presidential elections of 2022, receive a national reading in the country.

At the meeting, the far-right French National Group (RN) party was defeated in its goal of achieving its first regional government, by losing the second round of the regional elections in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

The outgoing president, the conservative Renaud Muselier, proclaimed his victory, although not all the votes have yet been counted, since in the partial count he obtains 60.32% of the votes, compared to 39.68 for the RN candidacy, led by Thierry Mariani.

“You have responded to the threat of the extreme right”, proclaimed Muselier when announcing his victory, in a public statement in which he affirmed that the result leaves the region “free of the extreme right”.

He also thanked the joint candidacy of the left and the greens, which withdrew from this second round to favor their victory and with it the defeat of the RN. “The logic of unity” of the parties has won to stop the extreme right, he stressed.

Likewise, Muselier recognized the support of all members of the European Parliament, except those on the extreme right, who had asked for a vote for his candidacy and thus prevent this rich region of southeastern France from being governed by the RN, which continues without winning in any French region.

In the first round, the RN achieved the first position in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur with 36.38% of the votes, while Muselier’s candidacy came second with 31.91%. The far-right party, led by Marine Le Pen, has also been defeated in other regions where it was participating in the second round but had hardly any options, such as in the North region, where it was a very distant second to the conservative Xavier Bertrand.

Abstention marks a record level of 66%

Abstention in the French regional elections this Sunday was around a record level of 66% for a second and final round, according to different estimates from the polling institutes.

According to Ipsos / Sopra Steria projections for the France Télévision and LCP channels and for the Radio France station, 65.7% of French people registered in the electoral roll were not mobilized, while the BFM TV channel, with data from Elabe, placed that percentage at 65%. The lowest figure, 64.3%, was given by Harris Interactive for the M6 ​​network.

In 2015, abstention in the second round of regionals was 41.6%, 48.8% in 2010, and 44.3% in 2004.

With the calculations of this Sunday, the disinterest manifested in the first round is confirmed, when abstention reached 66.7% of the electorate.

It was the highest percentage in the Fifth Republic, established in 1958, with the exception of the 2000 referendum that reduced the presidential term from seven to five years and in which 69.81% of the citizens did not vote.