Le Pen’s far-right party suffers blow in French regional elections

Rassemblement National fails to win region in south of France stronghold after rivals form ‘Republican front’

By Kim Willsher

Marine Le Pen’s far-right party has suffered a serious electoral blow when it failed to win a regional election in its stronghold in the south of France.

The Rassemblement National (National Rally) had pinned its last chances on taking the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region (PACA) after emerging victorious from last week’s first-round vote, although by a small margin.

However, an alliance of rival parties to form a “republican front” against the RN – including the withdrawal of the Socialist party and left-wing alliance candidate – prevented the far right taking the region.

Sunday’s result was a final bitter disappointment for the RN, which had been predicted to do well in at least five regions in the first-round vote last Sunday. In the end, the RN came first only in PACA, and then only by a narrow margin.

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