The 56 French Villages Where Marine Le Pen Didn’t Get A Single Vote

Despite coming second in the results, trailing Macron by just over 2% in the final vote, there were several places in France where Marine Le Pen didn’t manage to get a single vote: 56 places in fact.

The map below, courtesy of TheLocal.fr, shows a zoomed out version of the map (so not all 56 points may be fully visible) displaying the villages, all under 100 inhabitants strong, where not a single box was ticked on the ballot paper for Le Pen. It shows two clear clusters of non-Le Pen voting villages, one large group in the south-west, and another tightly packed group of FN-shunners between Grenoble and Marseille. The rest are spread across the east and north, creating a crescent of Le Pen no-go zones.

To see the full list on France Info click here.

So who was their preferred candidate instead?

The difference between the clusters is that while the villages in the south and Corsica largely picked Jean-Luc Mélenchon or Emmanuel Macron over Le Pen, many of the villages to the north and east chose rival right-wing candidate François Fillon.

All five of the villages in the north of France chose Fillon, the largest being Saint-Valery, a commune of 58 voters on the Somme bay, and the smallest being Canteleux, a hamlet of just 13 voters.

One of the smallest villages in the southern clusters, Cabous in south-west France, only had 16 people signed up to vote, of which the biggest group voted for Jean-Luc Mélenchon. One of the biggest villages was Samaran, with 72 voters situated between Toulouse and Pau, which shunned Le Pen in favour of Macron.

None of the villages were found in Le Pen’s stronghold of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region, where her father Jean-Marie Le Pen built up support in the 1970’s. But there were some Le Pen voter free villages in France’s far north, another National Front key area. Below is a map of how all the communes in France voted.

Source: NYT

Marine Le Pen Temporarily Steps Down As Head Of National Front Party

In a headline that spooked headline-scanning algos, moments ago French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen announced that she is stepping down as head of her National Front party. What the headline ignored to add is that her leadership departure is only “temporary”, and as AP notes is just an attempt by Le Pen, who according to polls is trailing Macron as much as 25 points in the runoff round, to embrace, or rather be embraced by, a wide range of potential voters ahead of the May 7 vote between herself and Emmanuel Macron.

Cited by AP, Le Pen said on public TV that”tonight, I am no longer the president of the National Front. I am the presidential candidate.”

To be sure, Le Pen has said in the past that she is not a candidate of her party, and made that point when she rolled out her platform in February, saying the measures she was espousing were not her party’s, but her own.

Le Pen has worked to bring in voters from the left and right for several years, cleaning up her party’s far-right image in the process. Facing a deficit of at least 20 points in the runoff round, the anti-establishment candidate will face an uphill climb if she hopes to catch up to Macron over the next two weeks, assuming of course that the polls are accurate.