Marine Le Pen and National Front win first round of French regional elections:FN scores 28.2 % of vote ,Sarkozy’s Républicain coalition 27 % Hollande’s Parti socialiste 23.6%

The first round of the French regional elections revealed a very strong showing for the right wing anti immigrant Front National led by Marine Le Pen. Her party is ahead in six regions and scored over 28 % of the vote.The moderate centre right conservative coalition led by Nicholas Sarkozy received 27 % of the vote and is ahead in four regions while the Parti socialiste led by Francois Hollande languishes in third place with 23.6% of the vote. It leads in just three regions. Before the election it controlled almost all of the 13 regions.During the second round parties which achieved less than 10% of the vote drop out and their voters have the opportunity to vote strategically for their preferred alternative.In many regions the parties who failed to make the ten % threshold are ecology parties or small parties of the left. This should result in the Sarkozy coalition party winning some of the regions where it is currently ahead or running a close second or even allow the PS to win where it now leads or trails the FN by a small margin depending on the vote split.
Nevertheless the first round result is a major triumph for Le Pen and a warning of what might lie ahead. In some regions the PS has already proposed dropping out to ensure that the FN does not win the region.Sarkozy on the other hand has rejected that strategy for his Républicains. Voter turnout was unimpressive just under 50 %. Part of the explanation for Le Pen’s popularity is a worsening unemployment situation. The latest quarterly unemployment rate rose from 10.4 % to 10.6 %.

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About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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