The French regional elections of 2015 presented two contrasting images of France: in the first round, a political landscape divided into three major blocs with the far-right Front National (FN) the dominant force; in the second round, a landscape as bipolarized between centre-right and centre-left as at any time under the Fifth Republic and with the FN a distant third. This article explores these two representations of political France and analyses the elections in relation to the wider French political context. It discusses the electoral dynamics that enabled the traditional parties to preserve their duopoly of regional power despite the increasingly intrusive challenge to their hegemony mounted by an ever more electorally potent FN.
Bibliographical note© 2018 Informa UK Limited, publishing as Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Regional and federal studies, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13597566.2018.1440389.
Funding: Leverhulme Trust Reseach Fellowship.
- France, French elections, regions, regional elections, Front National (FN), political parties