New assemblies will be elected for mainland France’s 13 regions and 96 departments on Sunday, while Le Pen‘s National Rally (RN) tipped to win at least one region for the first time in what would be a major coup.
In fact, Le Pen has been campaigning hard before the upcoming 2022 presidential elections, The recent surveys show could end up being a close race between her and the centrist president Macron.
South of France actively supports Le Pen
The south-eastern Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur is a region where RN is fronted by Thierry Mariani, an ex-minister who defected from the centre-right Republicans party.
Results in many regions will be driven by local dynamics and a high abstention rate, limiting how much they should be seen as indicators for the larger political picture in France, analysts suggest.
But because of anti-RN tactical voting, they could end up losing all of the run-off votes – as they did at the time of the last elections in 2015. A possible record abstention rate of up to 60% could also be a major factor. Meantime, the French voters have largely shrugged off a series of scandals that have enveloped at least half a dozen RN candidates over their past racist or antisemitic comments, or criminal records.