Macron and Le Pen dealt setback in French regional elections marred by record low turnout
June 21, 2021 at 10:41
Paris (CNN) French President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen were both dealt big setbacks as their parties performed poorly in regional elections that saw a historically low turnout rate.
Macron's La République En Marche won 10.9% of votes and the far-right National Rally, led by Le Pen, won 19.1% -- lower than expected, according to exit polls.
The right-wing party Les Republicains fared better and won 29.3% of the vote.
An unprecedentedly high rate -- 68% -- of the population didn't vote.
This is the highest abstention rate under the Fifth Republic.
A second round of regional elections will be held on June 27.
The regional elections are being closely watched for voter preferences ahead of next year's Presidential election.
However, given the low voter turnout, political experts say it's hard to draw conclusions at this stage.