France .. a setback for the far right in the local elections

The results of the right-wing “French National Rally” were lower than expected in the first round of the regional and provincial elections on Sunday, amid a very low rate of voter turnout.

According to the first estimates, in a merit that constitutes a preliminary test a year before the presidential elections, President Emmanuel Macron’s “Republic on the Move” party did not achieve good results.

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The results of the right-wing party led by Marine Le Pen, who ran in the decisive round of the presidential elections in 2017, came below expectations, and the local elections that were held in 2015 when it was issued in six regions, according to estimates.

In general, the outgoing officials took the lead, in a trend that enhances the chances of the Republican Party and the Socialist Party to confront the National Assembly and the Republican Party for the President, which does not have a strong local base.

In the Eau de France region (north), the outgoing regional president, Xavier Bertrand, who is now a candidate for the 2022 presidential elections, has a big lead over the candidate of the National Rally, Sebastien Chaunot, while opinion polls expected a stiff competition between them.

While the National Gathering led by Le Pen has been on the rise for nearly 40 years, it has not succeeded, despite achieving good results in the previous elections, in finding electoral strongholds for it. The electoral system is not working in its favour, and for decades it has faced hostility from the rest of the parties that generally bloc against it in critical course.

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The Republic on the Move party, which was set up around Macron to run in the 2017 presidential elections, does not have local bases and has not achieved good results, and government spokesman Gabriel Attal admitted that “it was difficult.”

Environmentalists also failed to score well after they performed stellarly in major cities during the 2020 municipal elections.

This first round of district and district elections saw a very high boycott rate, ranging between 66.5 and 68.6%, according to polling institutes’ estimates, a level that Interior Minister Gerald Darmannan described in a tweet as “very worrying.”

Le Pen expressed her disappointment that the party’s voters did not accept the vote, calling on them to turn out in large numbers in the second round next Sunday.

And she considered that “the voters with their large boycott left the field open for the outgoing elected to remain in their positions.”

All political figures have expressed concern about the very high rate of boycott of elections held in the midst of the pandemic.

Source: AFP

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