The Guardian reports:
French mainstream politicians have struggled to come up with a response to what one analyst described as the “major hangover” of a historic victory by the Front National in the first round of regional elections.
While the far-right had been predicted to do well, the FN’s record score of almost 28% of the national vote and first place in six of the country’s 13 regions by Sunday night left the traditional parties reeling.
The governing Socialist party came third as expected, but analysts agreed on Monday that the main loser was the centre-right opposition party Les Républicains, led by the former president Nicolas Sarkozy.
The Socialists announced they would withdraw their candidates in regions where the party was trailing and urge supporters to vote tactically to form a “Republican front” to see off the Front National in the second round this coming Sunday.
The results were:
- National Front 27.7% (+16.3%)
- Union of the Right 26.7% (+0.6%)
- Union of the Left 23.1% (-6.0%)
- Greens 6.6% (-5.6%)
The FN look likely to end up in control of two of 13 regions. What is fascinating is they got 55% of the working class vote, compared to 15% for the socialists.