Just one in three potential voters took part in the first round of regional elections across France last Sunday.
It is a record abstention rate and underlines that no political force has wide support.
President Emmanuel Macron’s LREM party won only around 11 percent of the vote nationally.
Fascist Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) had hoped to lead in as many as six of France’s 13 regions.
Instead, the party topped just one contest, in the southern Provence-Alpes-Cotes d’Azur region. There it secured only a few points lead in a race it had expected to run away with.
With a projected national vote share of around 19 percent, support for the RN was nine points lower than in the last regional polls in 2015. Large anti‑racist demonstrations recently will have helped. But the fascist danger has not disappeared.
The mainstream right took nearly 30 percent of the vote. And the Labour-like Socialist Party (PS) recovered from its recent very low figures to 16.5 percent.
Candidates that win more than 10 percent of votes in the first round can stand in the second round, set for this Sunday.
Huge protests against president Bolsonaro in Brazil
Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Brazil as the country’s Covid-19 death toll surpassed 500,000 last week.
Some 750,000 joined marches that were larger than the ones on 29 May. Demonstrations took place in at least 22 of Brazil’s 26 states.
They explicitly condemned Brazil’s far right president Jair Bolsonaro for his handling of the virus.
The protesters also railed against the fact that currently only 11 percent of Brazilians have received a vaccine.
Protesters generalised to all of Bolsonaro’s policies that hit working class people and the poor.
In Rio de Janeiro protesters held signs that read “Get out Bolsonaro. Government of hunger and unemployment” and “500,000 deaths. It’s his fault.”
Bolsonaro is currently in trouble.
He and his government are facing an official congressional investigation into their handling of coronavirus.
And in a poll conducted last month only 24 percent of Brazilians think his administration is “good” or “great”.