NOW UPDATED WITH FINAL RESULTS. Although the conservative-socialist alliance succeeded in denying the Front National control of any regions in the second round of voting today, support for the party increased by over 800,000 votes, and it has won 356 regional councillor seats. In 2010, the party won 117 such seats.
During the first round of voting, the FN took 6,018,672, or 27.73 percent of the vote on a turnout of 49.91 percent. In the second round, the overall turnout increased to 58.5 percent—and of this, the FN’s share of the vote jumped to 6,820,147 votes—a significant increase in just a week.
Speaking from her campaign headquarters in Hénin-Beaumont (where she took 61 percent of the town’s vote), Marine le Pen expressed her thanks to those “hundreds of thousands more voters who have joined us with their vote today.
“I congratulate you, brave and determined voters, for resisting the intimidation, childishness, and threats from the dying regime. We know that campaigns of insults and defamation are the price to pay for the emancipation of our people, and we can see in election after election, the inexorable rise of the national movement.”
In her region, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy, the combined conservative-socialist vote took 54.8 percent against the FN’s 45.2 percent, marking a 5 percent increase in the FN vote. In the first round, the FN took 41 percent.
Her niece, Marion le Pen, took 45 percent of the vote in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, up from the 41 percent she took in the first round of voting.
In her reaction, Marion le Pen expressed her “thanks to the hundreds of thousands of voters who have added their votes to our list. My friends, there are victories that are a disgrace to the winners. Claiming to represent the values of the Republic, they have tonight scuttled the French people’s representation.
“Everything has been done to us: slander, lies, cronyism, but we are still on the way. My friends, do not listen, there is no glass ceiling. This so-called glass ceiling was 25 percent in 2010, and is today 48 percent. And tomorrow we will be majority!
“We will redouble our efforts; we will redouble our fighting spirit. Our love of France will not die. In this region, I will be with my team, your representative: for the patriots. The old pensioners of the system were elected by default. They are already bound hand and foot by their compromises.
“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. And because we are French, courage is not what we lack. Our history is made of immense tragedies but also sublime resurrections. The sublime resurrection will come through courage, uprightness, and work for and with all patriots. More than ever, tonight, vive la Provence, the Alps and the French Riviera. Vive le France!”
This pattern—of the FN vote holding its share and also increasing—was repeated in many other regions.
In the Alsace-Lorraine Champagne-Ardenne region, the FN took 36.9 percent, up from the 36.06 percent in the first round.
In the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, the FN took 32.5 percent, up from the 31.48 percent of the first round.
In the Centre region, the FN took 30.4 percent, the same as the first round.
In the Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées region, the FN took 33.2 percent, up from the 32.65 percent of the first round.
In Brittany, the FN took 19.2 percent, up from the 18 percent of the first round.
In the Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes region, the FN took 23 percent of the vote, the same as the first round.
In the Normandie-Basse-Normandie region, the FN took 27.7 percent of the vote, the same as the first round.
In the Pays de la Loire region, the FN took 21 percent, the same as the first round.
In two regions, Ille-de-France and Auvergne Rhone-Alpes, the FN vote remained the same but declined when expressed as a percentage of the higher turnout.
The higher turnout however means that the other parties’ vote also increased. Even though the FN is still the single largest party in France, the conservative-socialist alliance has to be broken before the FN can realistically hope to achieve power.
This can be achieved one of two ways: either by outvoting those parties with sheer numbers—a task that grows increasingly difficult with each passing year as the nonwhite population of France increases—or by going into alliance with one or more of the smaller conservative parties.