France goes to the polls for regional election runoffs
Paris, Jun 27 (EFE).-Just 10 months ahead of the 2022 presidential elections, French citizens on Sunday head to the polls to vote in a decisive regional election runoff after a first round saw a record-low turnout.
The first round on June 20, which marked a historically high abstention rate of 66.7%, dealt a blow to the respective parties of French President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who are the two frontrunners in the upcoming presidential race.
The conservatives led in six of 13 regions going into the second round, while left-wing parties have the advantage in five others and the nationalists look set to retain control in Corsica.
In the northern region of Hauts-de-France, Macron’s LREM finished behind both the conservative Les Republicains (LR) and Le Pen’s National Rally, which fell below the 10% of the vote.
The National Rally, which was expected to garner high support in six regions, is ahead only in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, which includes Marseille, France’s second largest city.
Le Pen’s party hopes to gain its first regional government in the contest, which would boost the far-right formation’s bid to the presidency next year and legitimize it in the eyes of voters.
LR garnered roughly 29% of the vote nationwide and its three potential presidential hopefuls: Xavier Bertrand, Valerie Pecresse, and Laurent Wauquiez are almost guaranteed re-election as regional council chiefs in Hauts-de-France, Ile-de-France and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, respectively.