EMMANUEL Macron’s party has suffered a fresh blow in France’s local elections as rival Marine Le Pen failed to win a single region.
Both the French President’s La République en Marche (LREM) and Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN) are on course for a humiliating defeat, according to exit polls.
Mr Macron’s party failed to break into double figures nationwide or win a single region, according to the estimates by polling organisations broadcast by French television.
The Rassemblement National is also set to lose out to the centre-right Republican Party in the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) – a key electoral target for the party.
Thierry Mariani, the RN’s candidate in the region, is on course to lose to rival Renaud Muselier by ten points.
The failure to win PACA comes as a fresh blow to Le Pen’s electoral hopes, which would have been boosted by securing the region.
“This evening we have not won any region,” said Le Pen, who blamed “unnatural alliances” between political foes for the defeat.
Victory would give Le Pen momentum and a platform to challenge Mr Macron in 2022 – a repeat of their election battle in 2017.
Current polls show that the election would be won by Mr Macron again, though by a slimmer margin.
The results signalled a boost for The Republicans as well as the Socialist Party, who were squeezed out of the 2017 election by Mr Macron’s party.
According to pollster Ifop, the President’s party is set to garner just seven per cent of votes nationwide in today’s elections.
Party chief Stanislas Guerini admitted the elections marked a “disappointment for the presidential majority”.
The election was also marked by woeful turnout, which stood at less than 30 per cent earlier this afternoon.