Jun 28, 2021 - World

Macron and Le Pen's parties beaten in France's regional elections

Combination images of French President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Combination images of French President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen. Photo: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images/Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The parties of President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen failed to win any of France's 12 mainland regions in the country's second round of regional elections Sunday.

Why it matters: The regional polls are seen as a barometer for next year's presidential election. The results suggest that election may end up being wide open, rather than a duel between Macron and Le Pen.

The big picture: While Macron's centrist La République en Marche and Le Pen's Rassemblement National (National Rally) failed to make gains, "mainstream parties of the right and left" saw success across the country amid a low-voter turnout of 34%, per AFP.

  • Rassemblement National has never governed a French region, but it had won the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in the first round of voting by a slim margin. Exit polls show that incumbent regional president Renaud Muselier won the southern French region for the center-right party Les Républicains.
  • Xavier Bertrand, a center-right presidential candidate, was seen as the biggest winner after being re-elected in the Hauts-de-France region in the north, the New York Times notes. Bertrand was a minister when Nicolas Sarkozy was president.

What they're saying: While Le Pen blamed "unnatural alliances" for stopping her party, Bertrand said the far-right "has been stopped in its tracks" and the result "gives me the strength to seek the nation's vote" at the presidential election, AFP reports.

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