1st round of French regional elections 2015: the triumph of the FN

On December 6th, the first round of national regional elections took place in France. This elections determined the political colours of 13 ( 12 + Corsica) French regions.

The main political forces, represented in the list were the ruling party - Socialist party (leaded by Hollande), the National Front ( FN, led by Marine Le pen) and the Republican party (before - UMP - the leader - Nicolas Sarkozy).

The National Front obtained first place in this elections (30, 8% in total), the second party is the Republican party (27,2 %), the third – Socialists (22,7 %). The ecologists and Left Front (far-left party ruled by Melancon) –received 6% and 4 % respectively.

The vote takes place in two rounds, with candidates needing more than 50 per cent of the votes in the first round to be elected immediately, and more than 12 per cent to access the second round. The second round will take place on December 13th.

The map of the results of the 1st round of regional elections 

Dissatisfaction of French people by left socialist’s politics

The results are not surprising. The Socialist party has unstable and weak positions. The last year was not a successful one for the socialist government: terrorist acts (after Charlie Hebdo - Friday the 13th of November’s terrorist attacks ) despite the anti-terrorist laws ( which showed the incapacity of the left government to prevent a terrorist attack), the immigration crisis,  rising unemployment,  the incoherent and vacillating foreign policy of France (e.g. the Mistral case). Hollande loses legitimacy.

The decline in the popularity of left-parties (the difference between 2011 and 2015)


The new political map of France

The west of France (Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes and Bretagne regions ) - voted for the Socialist party (30,3 % and 34,9 %), the east of France: nord ( Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine) – centre ( Centre-Val-de-Loire, Bourgognr-Franche-Compte) and South (Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur and Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrenees) voted National Front. The west of France shows its preferences toward the left-wing, the center of France is right-orientated (Republicans in first place) and east is right-orientated towards the National Front.

FN: incredible electoral success ( 30%) . First place in the 1st tour of regional elections 2015

For the National Front (FN),  the victory in 6 regions in these elections is extremely important. It is a necessary condition for the success in the presidential elections. The fact that FN had received first place in these elections and left the republican party behind  shows the anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic tendencies in the political outlook of French people.

The triumphant victory of the National Front in the northern region of North-Pas-de-Calais (Marine Le pen in the head of the list with 41%) and in the southern region Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azure ( Marion Le Pen at the head of the list – 42%) is a huge success for the party.

It is the first time in which the National Front wins a regional seat. The FN gains more votes than Sarkozy’s party also because of its position on immigration: it’s more radical and wants to solve the migrant problem at its roots (the Syria question).  This seems to be more geopolitically correct and logical than the shallow criticisms of immigration made by the Republican party. FN was the first party who openly declared the connection between migrants and the awareness of security.

The Socialist prime-minister of France was extremely worried by the coming victory of the National Front and wanted even to fight the FN with a right and left wing united front.

The second round of regional elections: scenarios for the 13th of December

The National Front can repeat its results of the 1st round. A possible obstacle is the coalition of right-wing parties with the left against the FN.  The coalition was proposed to be created by the socialist premier-minister Manuel Valls. Sarkozy, the leader of Republican party, has refused to collaborate with left parties to prevent the victory of the National Front.