PARIS, Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party did not win a single region during the second round of voting in French elections Sunday.
Exit polls indicate the center-right Les Républicains, led by Nicolas Sarkozy, won seven regions while the ruling Socialist party won five. An independent nationalist party won in Corsica.
Le Pen was running in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, and her niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, was likewise running in the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur — but Socialist candidates in both regions pulled out after trailing behind during the first round of voting last week, enabling their voters to back Les Républicains.
Le Pen admitted defeat and blamed the outcome of the elections on collusion between the mainstream parties. The BBC quoted her as telling supporters they had been “disenfranchised in the most indecent of ways by a campaign of lies and disinformation.”
Polls leading up to the first round of voting suggested increased support for the anti-immigration and anti-European Union National Front after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the killing of 130 people during terrorist attacks in Paris last month.
By Fred Lambert