President Emmanuel Macron and his opposition leader Marie Le Pen fails to get their expected results in the exit poll of the first regional elections round in France. The centrist party of Mr. Macron was estimated to gain over 10% of the vote, and it was a sufficient percentage to take part in the second round of the election in the upcoming weeks. The far-right National Rally of Ms. Le Pen has also failed in expectations. Both the parties are lagging and having poor performance.
An MP from Mr. Macron’s party, Aurore Bergé, stated that the poor performance of the party is a democratic slap in the face of all of them. Ms. Le Pen’s National Rally was expected to lead in the first-round polling on June 20 and was hoped to win at least a single region for the first time. Instead, the voting shows it will come second. Ms. Le Pen was leading the campaign, although she is not a candidate.
Ms. Pen described the low voter turnout as a civic disaster and a projected 66% abstention. She blamed that the low results were due to the inability of the Government to inspire faith in political institutions. She said that the results were marked by a historic abstention of around 70% due to the mistrust in the electoral system. This has led the voters a feeling that nothing can ever change and all the things have been confiscated.
First Round of Election
Voters are selecting new councils for 12 mainland regions, four overseas, the island of Corsica, and 96 departments of France. Almost 15,700 candidates are standing for the election of 4,100 seats. This particular election is watched closely as the next presidential election is just a year away.
An Ipsos exit poll reflects that the conservative Les Républicains is wining around 27% votes out of the total, which is followed by the National Rally with almost 19% of the votes. The Socialist Party, The Greens, and the La République En Marche or the LREM party of Mr. Macron are all on 11%. For the first time, Mr. Macron’s party has participated in the regional elections, and in the 2015 regional election, the party did not exist. His party was also not expected to do great in this election. Yet LREM fared worse than expected. It is a sign that the party failed to create local-level support.