Monday mornings rarely bring good news, but Trump polling all over the place and Marine Le Pen’s regional defeats over the weekend, the forecast is starting to look a bit sunnier.
After leading in three super régions after last Sunday’s elections, the Front National was soundly defeated in all six regions where they were in play in this Sunday’s second-round of voting.
Despite Les Républicains not wanting to play nice in elections where the Socialist candidate was better poised to defeat the FN candidate, voters turned out in bigger numbers this weekend to bolster both parties against the far-right threat.
Two of the three regions where the FN was expected to win—Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur—had no Socialist option in Sunday’s polls; the PS picked up voters overall, thanks to the increase in total turnout, but took a smaller percentage of the vote. In Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, where Marion Maréchal Le Pen seemed like a lock to become regional president, the conversative candidate Xavier Bertrand trounced the FN candidate with 57% of the vote, compared to Le Pen’s 40%.
Marine Le Pen is still touting the Front National’s “inexorable rise” and decrying the “campaign of calumny and intimidation” the mainstream parties in France led against her party. “There are some victories that shame the winners,” Marion Maréchal Le Pen said after conceding defeat.
The second round elections in France give the United States a modicum of hope where Trump is concerned—if a third party can be so thoroughly trounced in France, then Trump’s chances in the staunchly two-party U.S. system are even more minimal should he lose the Republican nomination by ballot or bluster.