Are Marine Le Pen’s chances of becoming French president being exaggerated? | Arthur Goldhammer

Recent French regional elections suggest next year’s contest won’t simply be Macron versus the far right

On Sunday, France held the first round of this year’s regional elections – and two-thirds of eligible voters chose to stay home. As the country slowly emerges from lockdown, politics is clearly not a priority for most people. While it may be a fool’s errand to try to interpret the voice of the people when the vast majority preferred to remain silent, Sunday’s voting has changed the conversation about what lies ahead.

Voters were asked to choose the representatives who will govern France’s 18 regions (13 domestic and five overseas). In their current form, the regions are only five years old, the product of the most recent of many efforts to add a modicum of decentralisation to France’s traditionally top-down administrative setup.

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