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News > France

French Conservatives Regain Ground in Regional Elections

  • Polls closed in French regional elections marred by extremely low voter turnout.

    Polls closed in French regional elections marred by extremely low voter turnout. | Photo: Twitter/@France24_en

Published 21 June 2021 (1 hours 5 minutes ago)
Opinion

Abstention was between 66.1% and 68.6%, a record for all past elections in France.

The first round of France's regional elections, which were dominated by security problems and a record low turnout, yielded unexpected results, after conservatives regained ground against Marine Le Pen's far-right.

Sunday's vote, which was meant to focus on local concerns such as transportation, schools and infrastructure, became a dress rehearsal for next year's presidential vote.

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Abstention reached somewhere between 66.1% and 68.6% , a record low for France elections, excluding referenda. 

In this sense, the French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, expressed his concern for the very high abstention rate (68%) that occurred this Sunday in the French regional elections and called to mobilize voters for the second round, next June 28th.

The projections of three polling agencies show that the conservative party The Republicans (LR), which currently leads seven of the 13 regions of mainland France, won the largest number of votes on Sunday, between 27 and 29 percent.

Pollsters such as the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP) and Ipsos/Sopra Steria for France Televisions, indicated that the left grouped in the Socialist Party, Europe Ecology The Greens and France Insoumise together won 34.2 percent of the vote nationwide.

President Emmanuel Macron's emerging party, La République en Marche, crumbled, according to preliminary results, to fourth place, while the ultra-right National Rally (RN) did not reach the expected votes according to the polls.

The regional and departmental polls are the last gauge ahead of the April 2022 presidential election, in which all polls and pundits point to a rerun of the ballot duel between President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Parties that obtain more than 10 percent of the vote advance to the second round, which will determine the number of seats each party gets in the regional councils.

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