France | The right wing wins the first round of the regional elections with 70% abstention

The conservative right won slightly in the first round of the French regional elections this Sunday, although the left resisted its push and the extreme right of Marine Le Pen saw its expectations cut off.

In an election day marked by a record abstention of between 66.5 and 68.6%, according to the polls, the right-wing Los Republicanos (LR) leads in six of the thirteen metropolitan regions of the country and the left in five .

In addition, the right and the extreme right are side by side in another region and finally, the nationalists are again in the lead in Corsica.

In the absence of definitive results that will arrive on Tuesday, according to the Interior Ministry, the analyzes are being carried out with a mixture of partial results and exit projections, both at the national level and in the various regions.

Along with the record abstention, the result has several readings: the record abstention; the conservative LR is the strongest party (around 29%); the far right RN fails to the prospects of the polls; President Emmanuel Macron’s party -LREM, lacking territorial implantation- repeats the poor result of the 2020 municipal elections, and the left and the environmentalists, if they unite, may be in the lead.

This Monday, the parties will hold intense negotiations to try to forge alliances for the second round, which will take place next Sunday.

The far right falls below their expectations

The most striking thing about today’s vote is that the extreme right has lost steam and, after polls pointed to it being the most voted in six of the thirteen regions, it could only lead the vote in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur ( PACA), where it has always been stronger.

The socialist leader, Olivier Faure, quickly announced that “if there is the slightest possibility” that the far right will win in PACA “there will be no socialist in the second round. We will do our duty.”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of La Francia Insoumise (LFI), a party to the left of the Socialists, promised to do “everything possible to convince everyone not to give any region to the National Grouping.”

“We make a call not to add a new affliction to all the misfortunes of our democracy,” he proclaimed from his party headquarters.

In the regional elections, the candidates that obtain more than 10% of the votes in the first round can attend the second round, although it is common for there to be alliances or even renounce to participate in order to favor other lists.

Le Pen stressed that his party will be able to participate in that second round throughout the country.

The far-right leader attributed the results of her training, much weaker than the polls indicated, to the fact that her voters have not come out to vote.

For this reason, he urged the “patriots” to “not be influenced by the results of the first round and to mobilize.” “You must vote,” he reiterated.

As for the LR, it is clearly the most voted party, and three of its main figures (Xavier Bertrand in the North region, Valerie Pecresse in Île-de-France and Laurent Wauquiez in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) are almost guaranteed re-election. and they can move forward with their aspirations to reach the presidential candidacy of their formation.

The poor result of the LREM, which finished fourth, occurs despite the fact that up to thirteen ministers and secretaries of state have appeared in some candidacy. For this reason, the Executive has insisted on not giving a national reading to these elections.

Still, “it is an unprecedented failure for the Government,” declared the president of the Republicans, Christian Jacob.

And the leftist formations (socialists, ecologists, and La Francia Insoumisa), although they were separated in almost all regions, as a whole show a result that looks as equals, and even surpasses, the conservative LR at the national level.

“For four years we have been told that the second round (of the 2022 presidential elections) would be played between Macron and Le Pen. There is hope for the left. In that bloc, the driving force is the PS,” Faure stressed.