‘Slap in the face’ for Macron as French voters shun local elections

Abstention rate estimated at 68%, and exit polls suggest Le Pen’s National Rally failed to get expected support

Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party received what one of its own MPs called a “slap in the face” in regional and department elections on Sunday.

The president and his government failed to mobilise supporters, with an estimated 68% of voters shunning the polling stations – an unprecedented rate of abstention. If there was any consolation for the ruling party it was that exit polls suggested Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally had failed to garner its expected support.

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