Paris: The centre-right ‘The Republicans’ party (LR) has become the leading political force in France by winning the runoff regional elections, while President Emmanuel Macron's "The Republic on the Move" (LREM) party and the far-right "National Rally" (NR) failed to gain in any region.
Results of over 70 per cent of votes cast on Sunday showed that among heavyweight candidates of the LR, Xavier Bertrand confirmed his first-round victory in Hauts-de-France in the north, Valerie Pecresse won hands down in Ile-de-France, the greater Paris region, and Laurent Wauquiez topped in Auvergne-Rhones-Alpes, the region around Lyon, reports Xinhua news agency.
In Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur in the southeast, where the NR had its best chance of securing a breakthrough victory, the LR won thanks to the "republic front" formed with its allies to block the far-right.
The LR and its right-wing allies also dominated Normandie, Grand-Est and Pays de la Loire. The left-wing parties retained five regions.
As in the first round, the runoff turnout remained low, with 66.3 per cent of the electorate not casting their votes, according to the Ifop-Fiducial estimates.
In the eight regions where LREM was held in the second round, its candidates finished in third or fourth position, "a snub for the presidential movement which still does not manage to establish itself locally" 1 months ahead of the presidential election, commented French daily Le Monde.
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