France held nationwide local elections on Sunday in the extraordinary conditions of ramped up measures to slow the accelerating coronavirus outbreak in the country. These included the shutdown of a vast number of public sites at midnight on Saturday, including shops, cafés, restaurants and entertainment venues, while the virus crisis has now made the holding of the final second round next weekend in doubt. Follow here the principal results and developments from these most unusual elections.
The European Parliament elections drew to a close late on Sunday, after which the new composition of the 751-seat assembly will be officially made known on Monday. Following elections already held in seven other EU member states beginning on Thursday, France was one of 21 countries that held the elections on Sunday, in what was seen as a test of the national political power balance as much as the future direction of EU policy making. This is our coverage of the election night in France, and the developments elsewhere in Europe, in an election that has visibly, in the words of one EU commissioner, "broken" the monopoly of power in the continent's legislative assembly.
The results of an international competition to turn 23 city sites into innovative, environment-friendly designs are on public display until May.
France returned to the polling stations on Sunday for the second and final round of voting to decide the make-up of the councils that will govern the country’s 13 new ‘super’ regions. Though in the first-round voting the far-right Front National drew massive support, arriving in first position in six regions, it failed to win control of a single region in the second round. Thus in many ways the outcome was a setback for Marine Le Pen's party, as many conservative and left-wing voters voted tactically to keep the far-right out of power. Yet the Front National showed that it is now firmly implanted in all of France apart from the Greater Paris region, and with more than 6.6 million French people voting for it the party beat its previous record set at the 2012 presidential elections. Meanwhile the ruling Socialist Party did better than many predicted, picking up five of the regions, though it lost control of Greater Paris. On the other hand Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative Les Républicains picked up only seven regions - some thanks to tactical voting from the Left - a mediocre performance for the leading mainstream opposition party that will raise question marks over the former president's leadership. Here is Mediapart's live coverage of the results, reaction and analysis in English.
France went to the urns on Sunday in the first of two-round elections to decide the makeup of the councils of France’s 13 newly-formed ‘super’ regions. The poll, held December 6th and 13th, is an important test of the French political map, 18 months away from presidential and parliamentary elections. The final results show a massive victory for the far-right Front National, which garnered the biggest share of the vote nationwide and goes into the second round next Sunday with its candidates in the lead in six regions. This is Mediapart’s coverage in English of results and reaction after the first-round vote on Sunday, with an update of final scores on Monday.
The group, which has posted net losses for the past four years, said it will cut routes, winter flights and shave administrative spending.
The 29-year-old Italian rider dominated the Tour from the moment he took the race lead in Sheffield and wore the yellow jersey for 18 days.
France’s 46 million registered voters went to the polls on Sunday to elect the country’s allotted 74 members of the European Union’s 751-seat European Parliament. France is one of 21 European Union states that voted on Sunday, with elections already held, beginning last Thursday, in the remaining seven. The elected representatives will have a mandate of five years, and this year’s poll has a heightened importance because of the European parliament’s expanding powers over EU decision-making. In France, opinion surveys predicted a surge in support for the far-right Front National (FN) party, but their forecasts were largely surpassed. The same surveys predicted a debacle for the mainstream Right and the ruling Socialist Party, which were similarly confirmed. Mediapart's English-language service reported live on the key results in France as they came in through the evening in this special edition that begins with a presentation how the voting functions and what is at stake.
The dust has settled after the first round of voting in nationwide municipal elections in France, and a new political landscape has emerged even before the final round of voting next Sunday. Amid an abstention rate of more than 36%, the ruling Socialist Party has suffered a heavy defeat, likely to become a debacle in the second round. But it is the far-right Front National party which can claim victory, and not the mainstream conservative opposition. Hubert Huertas analyses the first-round results which see the far-right now become a part of the fabric of local politics in France.
While the results of the first round of the French parliamentary elections leave the broad Left in position to gain control of parliament, it will only be after the votes are cast in the final poll next Sunday that the real balance of power between the parties will become clear. Mediapart presents a simple rundown of the political map to emerge from first-round voting on Sunday, a count of those already elected outright, and the cliff-hanger contests to be played out on June 17th.
Socialist Party candidate François Hollande has won the French presidential elections. Official results announced by the interior ministry at 1 a.m. Monday gave Hollande a 51.67% share of the vote in mainland France, but excluding the results from French expatriate votes. Hollande’s victory over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, credited with 48.33%, is the first time a socialist has been elected president since François Mitterrand won a second term of office in 1988 and ends 17 years of uninterrupted conservative occupancy of the post. Hollande, 57, will now formally enter office mid-May, when he will appoint a prime minister to form a caretaker government until parliamentary elections are held in June. “I have confidence in France, I know it well, I know we are capable of straightening ourselves up," Hollande said in a victory speech on Sunday evening. “It is this French dream that I will make it my job to accomplish." Sarkozy, meanwhile, said he accepted "full responsibility" for his defeat and announced he was quitting front-line politics. "My place can no longer be the same" he said, "another era is underway".
Socialist Party candidate François Hollande and incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy are the winners of the first round of the French presidential elections held on Sunday, according to initial exit poll figures released after the voting ended at 8p.m. They gave Hollande, who took the overall lead, with between 27% and 29%, and Sarkozy with between 25% and 27%. The pair now go through to the final play off on May 6th. Meanwhile, far-right leader Marine Le Pen came in third position, with between 18% and 20% of the vote, the highest score ever obtained by her Front National party. It was a comfortable lead over her closest rival, radical-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who drew between 10.1% and 11.5%.
The second and final round of partial regional elections across France on March 27th saw a clear victory for the parties of the left, which are now set to control 64 of the country's 100 départements, the administrative regions broadly equivalent to a county. But the elections, the last before next year's presidential poll, have also sounded a grave warning for the mainstream parties, with a strong show of support for the far-right Front National and a 55 percent abstention rate. Stéphane Alliès and Lénaïg Bredoux report.