The French far right is seeking electoral victory in Provence

Marine Le Pen has ordered French voters to make history on Sunday by giving her National Anti-Immigration Party control of the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region in the south, in the last national elections before she is up against Emmanuel Macron in next year’s presidential vote.

His candidate for the Province of Thierry Mariani – which has settled the controversy supporting Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and defending the capture of Crimea by Russia – he went ahead in the first round of voting in the regional elections a week ago and hopes to get victory in the second. The RN never gained control of a French region, even though it succeeded in town and city elections.

“You can make history on Sunday.” Vote! “Mariani he said on Twitter. After a first round where only a third of French voters went to the polls and in particular RN voters went away, Le Pen also he encouraged his supporters to “mobilize like never before: don’t let the elections steal you.”

But the far right RN took advantage of the overall forecast in the first round in the 13 main regions of France, and Mariani makes a united “republican front.” in Provence who will seek to keep him out of power after the main Green-left candidate has withdrawn and thrown the support of his alliance behind the center-right title, Renaud Muselier.

An Ifop-Fiducial opinion poll last week suggested Muselier would win a 51% to 49% victory in the two-way contest.

The clear winners in the first round were the established French left and center-right parties, the Socialists and Les Républicains. They were crushed by the unexpected victories of Macron’s presidential and legislative elections four years ago, but are now likely to hold control of most or all of the regions they already rule, even if regional powers are severely limited. part to transport policy and education.

The French Greens – Europe Écologie-Les Verts – have also been very successful in the recent elections, and hope under former Macron supporter Matthieu Orphelin and his left-wing allies to snatch control of the Pays de la Loire region in the west from the center-right.

La République en Marche di Macron, a centrist party created in 2016 to push it to power the following year, also made worse than expected in the first round, winning only a tenth of the votes cast and even failing to qualify for the second round in four regions.

It will seek to revive the infamous party and plans to announce a resumption of government action in the coming weeks, according to senior officials. One said Macron and his advisors needed to learn the lessons of first-round results. “It’s a real wake-up call and we have to pull the consequences.”

At the center-right, which has provided most of the French presidents in Charles de Gaulle’s Fifth Republic, spirits have been raised by the strong rally of candidates in regional elections so far.

In the northern region of Hauts-de-France, Xavier Bertrand challenged forecasts and crushed his RN rivals – boasting of “crushing his jaws” – while Laurent Wauquiez in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in the southeast and Valérie Pécresse in the Ile-de-France also came out ahead.

Political analysts say that with each of the three regional leaders, as well as others with presidential ambitions, the main risk for the center-right is that the movement will fail to agree on a common candidate to challenge Macron and Le Pen next year.

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