Macron’s debacle, a bad result for Lepenov and the revival of the right and left center

Five ministers from Macron’s party did not even manage to get into the second round of elections
(illustration, Taux d´abstention rate – 68%, source France 24)

The first round of elections for regional authorities ended last night in France. A record low turnout was recorded in 14 regions – only a third of eligible voters went to the polls.

Turnout results are worst when analyzing voters under the age of 35 – as many as 80 percent of them did not go to the polls. That is why some analysts here are talking about a kind of voter strike.

Last night, the ruling Macron’s party “U hodu” experienced a real debacle in the first round of regional elections because it failed to reach the minimum required to qualify for the second round. As many as five government ministers ran in the regional elections, but none managed to advance to the second round. French media evaluate this result as a “blow to Macron”.

The distribution of political forces after the first round of regional elections in France

Changes ahead of the presidential election

The far-right National Assembly party (formerly the National Front) managed to enter the second round but with much weaker results than expected: the party’s candidates broke out in first place in only one region in the country’s southeast, instead of six, as planned and only there they have a chance that they might win power.

Traditional center-right and left-wing parties have shown the first signs of recovery after the debacle in the presidential and parliamentary elections five years ago. The center-right Republicans are leading in 6 regions for now, but they have a chance to improve their result in the second round, which would mean that the situation has not worsened compared to the last regional elections in 2015.

The center-left has an almost identical situation – the Socialists are in the lead in five regions. They have teamed up with the Greens and this is the first sign of the return of a party that has been almost wiped out of political life.

These elections are significant because they speak of changes in the political landscape of France eight months before the elections for the president and the parliament of the state.

Five years ago, Macron’s centrist party “On the Go” toppled the traditional center-right and center-left parties, promising to modernize the state. That is why Macron found himself in the second round of the presidential elections in competition with the leader of the far right, Marina Lepen, as the only rival. That is how Emanuel Macron got the support of all those who were against the far right, and who would not otherwise vote for him – and became president.

There were signs that Macron intended to apply the same scheme in the next presidential election. Yesterday’s results suggest changes – the recovery of the center-right with the center-left – the Socialists are returning to political life strengthened by an alliance with the environmental party.

fra-izbori-LeMonde

Monda’s front page: France is indifferent, only one third of voters went to the polls

Voters did not see the benefit of the election

The results of the first round of regional elections put a big question mark on all predictions because what few predicted happened, despite countless analyzes of public opinion and the opinions of countless experts.

Ferdoik Dabi from the Ifop Institute for Public Opinion Research believes that yesterday’s vote showed that those who are protesting no longer vote for the far right – they are boycotting the polls.

“This vote has destroyed all previous landmarks,” he said in an interview with Le Figaro, emphasizing that no conclusions can be drawn now when it comes to the relations of political power in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections next year.

Dabi believes that one of the reasons for the record low turnout is the fact that the regional authorities do not have enough influence on security decisions. The topic of security was at the center of regional campaigns of both the far right and the ruling “On the Go” party.

As another reason for the reluctance of voters, Dabi states that many citizens think that everything in these elections is “vanity and that there is no use of them.”


Source: Balkan Magazin – Aktuelnosti by www.balkanmagazin.net.

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