THE PLATFORM

There were improvements for the Socialist Party and centre-right Republicans but a bad outcome for President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party.

Only about 35 percent of eligible voters turned out to cast votes in Sunday’s elections.

Sunday’s vote paves the way for presidential elections next year.

It was a disappointment for Macron’s centrist En Marche party in round one of regional elections last week and it failed to secure control of any region.

The last regional elections took place in 2015 before Macron’s party was formed thus this was their inaugural run.

Marine Le Pen had hoped her party’s first regional success would be in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and was probably devastated by Sunday’s results.

Renaud Muselier’s liberal-conservative The Republicans took the vote against National Rally candidate Thierry Mariani in Provence.

Le Pen’s National Rally had high hopes in the Hauts-de-France region around Calais in the north but was taken by conservative Xavier Bertrand.

“The far-right has been stopped in its tracks and we have pushed it back sharply,” Xavier told his supporters after the polls closed.

Bertrand’s win gives him a chance at challenging Macron next year.

Almost all of the current regional presidents, left and right, won in Sunday’s vote.

Just like in round one of regional elections last week, few voters showed up to cast their votes.

At the time of polls opening on Sunday, nearly 90% of the country’s young people did not show up to cast their votes.

The winners were the mainstream right as their candidates easily won in the regions where they already had a standing. Among them, Xavier Bertrand, of the northern Hauts-de-France region, has declared his intentions to run for president next year.

It’s unclear who the front runners are for next year’s presidential election. Both front runners, Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, both performed poorly.

Isaac Silvermann is one of Europe's young and respected analysts of international affairs. He hails from Sweden where he studied political science and graduated with a Master's degree from Mittuniversitetet in 2006. Isaac worked as a foreign policy advisor for two MPs and nowadays is a lobbyist and author. He is also the author of 'Let Me Explain 1948 - 2021'. Isaac possesses an abiding interest in the art and craft of foreign policy and international relations.