France’s far-right National Rally failed to win its first province, with the results of the second round of regional elections coming out.
The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region was a target of the party led by Marine Le Pen.
But opinion polls indicate that their high-risk candidate lost to the center-right Republicans.
The election, which saw a drop in turnout of less than 30%, also brought disappointment to President Emmanuel Macron.
His centrist party, La Republic en Marche, failed to gain control of any territory. Moreover, he performed poorly in the first round that was held last week.
This is the first time Macron’s party has participated in regional elections, as it was not present the last time it was held in 2015.
Le Pen has sought to win a region of the French mainland for the first time, in a bid to boost her hopes in the 2022 presidential election.
But early results from the second round point to the traditional centre-right and left-wing parties winning.
In Provence, National Rally candidate Thierry Mariani lost to Republican candidate Renaud Muselier. With 75% of the votes counted, Muselier led by more than 10% over Mariani.
“Tonight we chose the fate of the free zone,” Muselier tweeted.
Left-wing candidates withdrew from the race in the region to help the Republicans defeat Mariani.
Le Pen accused her rivals of forming “unnatural alliances” to prevent her and her party from coming to power.
“(They) did everything in their power to keep us away and prevent us from showing our ability to the French to lead a regional administration,” she told her supporters.
The Hauts-de-France region around Calais in the north was also seen as a potential gain for the National Assembly, but was won by conservative Javier Bertrand.
“The path of the far right has been stopped and we have pushed it sharply back,” he told his supporters after polls closed.
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