In the first round of the French regional elections, the traditionally right-wing Les Républicains received the most votes, according to exitpolls. Marine le Pen‘s right-wing populist Rassemblement National did less well than expected, and has become the second party in many regions.
The turnout was exceptionally low: only a third of voters went to the polls.
Third and fourth have become the socialists and the Greens. President Macron’s La République and Marche hardly seems to be helpful. The party did not exist in the previous regional elections in 2015 and is hardly organised at regional level.
There were elections in the thirteen regions in which France is divided. France is a tightly centrally organized country and the regions have little to tell. Their powers are mainly about regional public transport and secondary education.
The Le Pen party hoped to conquer the majority in a number of regions, but it looks like it has become the largest only in the southeast. Next week, a second round will be followed, and it will be clear whether the Rassemblement National will be able to operate in this region.
There will be presidential elections in France next year. It is expected to go mainly between Macron and Le Pen.