The results of the second round of regional elections in France constituted a major setback for the far-right led by Marine Le Pen and the party of President Emmanuel Macron.
President Macron’s party, the Republic on the Move, has admitted not winning any region in the second round of the elections. Its president, Stanislas Guerini, said the election results were a “disappointment for the presidential majority”.
The party did not win any of the 13 provinces in which the elections were held, and all of its candidates failed to achieve even moderate gains.
Government spokesman Gabriel Atal described the party’s performance as “disappointing”.
Macron’s party also performed poorly in last week’s first round of elections.
And Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally, acknowledged the loss, but stressed that “mobilization is the key to future victories,” referring to the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for 2022.
About 48 million French were invited to vote in this session. The percentage of abstentions exceeded more than 66%, which is almost the same percentage of abstentions in the first round, a record percentage since the establishment of the Fifth Republic in 1958.
The reasons for this refrain may be many, including the French’s boredom with politics, and their benefit from easing quarantine measures on a summer weekend, or even sending a message calling for a change in institutions.
Jessica Sinti, a political science lecturer at the University of Avignon (south), said it was “a combination of all these reasons”.
“We are witnessing a complete separation between voters and the political class. In light of the current health conditions, there were few activities outside, which complicated communication with part of the public.
Most of the political parties focused their efforts throughout the week on these records and introduced some changes.
In Strasbourg (east), Huge Hubert (66 years old), a pensioner who came to vote, but his three children refused to participate: “I came to vote, but it is of no use,” adding, “I support voting in the presidential elections, but as for the regions, we know nothing. What will the candidates do? I have no idea”.