France’s far-right Front National has failed to win control of any regions in the final round of local elections despite a historically high score in the first-round when it was ranked as the most popular party in France.
Partial results showed the left had performed better than expected, likely to win five regions. Sarkozy’s rightwing party Les Républicans were likely to win six, a poorer showing than might have been expected for the main rightwing opposition party, given that two of those regions were won with the support of tactical leftwing voters. But Sarkozy’s party succeeded in winning the Paris region from the left.
The Socialist prime minister, Manuel Valls, deliberately avoided any triumphalism. “Tonight there is no relief, no triumphalism, no message of victory,” he said. “The danger of the far right has not been removed – far from it – and I won’t forget the results of the first round and of past elections.”
He said it was now the government’s duty to “listen more to the French people” and “to act in a stronger, faster way” particularly on employment in a country with record joblessness.
Turnout was up by around seven percentage points on the first-round, especially in areas where the FN could have won, suggesting a strong mobilisation to beat the party.
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"Il devient absolument urgent de mettre un terme à cette injustice. Il y a un manque de connaissances et de recherches. Il faut donc promouvoir le recueil de témoignages, mais aussi construire des mémoriaux, organiser des expositions..." - @BenjaminAbtan