France Opposition National Front Party: Winning and Trailing in Regional Elections

December 16, 2015
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France – opposition leader, Marine Le Pen of the National Front Party failed to take full control of the second round of the French regional elections, trailing behind her opponents.

The votes of the anti-immigration National Front party swing from high in the first round to a low in the second round. The NFP got the most votes on the first round. But on Sunday, the party has tried to achieve the highest votes to gain advantage over the region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, which borders Belgium and the English Channel.

However, on the second round of voting, Marine Le Pen failed to get the targeted votes.

Early results from France’s Interior Ministry showed that out of the 100% expected votes, Le Pen only got 45.43% in Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie. On the opposite, her rival , the candidate of the mainstream center-to-right alliance, Xavier Bertrand, got 54.57% of the votes.

Similarly, Le Pen’s niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, was on the tail following Christian Estrosi, her opponent in the south of France in southern Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. Elections official results gave Marechal-Le Pen only 48.85% of votes while Estrosi has garnered 51.15%.

But the NFP leader was not moved by the election’s second round results. With her niece, she declared that “her party’s fight for France was just beginning and that she’d be back on the ballot in the 2017 presidential elections”. Vowing further on Twitter, that nothing can stop them.

The figures, with very slim margins of difference clearly supported Le Pen’s claim of a possible comeback to win the 2017 elections.

Le Pen’s NFP was leading in the first round of voting in six of the 13 regions. The results put newspapers across the political field on shock to the NFP’s standing in the first round. This established Le Pen’s confidence to say that the National Front was now “the first party of France.”

She was ahead of former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative Les Republicains party, which falls into second place at the national level. But the ruling Socialist party of the current President Francois Hollande’s was only third on the voting race.

Party maneuvers to block the National Front’s victory provided the easy fall of the NFP. Candidates withdrew from the election race just to give way for the anti-national front vote and prevent the NFP to gain power. The Socialists candidates who were trailing in the regions withdrew and instead call for their supporters to give their votes to the Les Republicains.

The strategy did work, according to CNN contributor Stefan de Vries. He said that “The government appealed to the left-wing voters to vote for a right-wing candidate in order to basically … make it impossible for Marine Le Pen to win any region.

Le Pen’s party, which has always been viewed as being on the far-right of the political mainstream, had won 6.8 million votes out of the 98% of ballots counted on the second round. This is a huge figure, which according to de Vries is securing her possible comeback on top in the 2017 elections.

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