When results started to come in on Sunday night, it was clear that French voters had delivered a humiliating rebuke to Emmanuel Macron’s political party in regional elections less than a year before presidential polls.
Rivals from the “old political world” Macron crushed in 2017 to win the presidency rejoiced. But in the president’s camp, the mood was downbeat.
“The movement is facing a huge challenge,” said Roland Lescure, a member of parliament for Macron’s centrist party. “We are five years old, and we don’t have many elected officials on the ground . . . It hasn’t gelled.”
The French president’s La République en Marche (LREM), which beat the established parties of left and right to win control of the National Assembly four years ago, secured about 7 per cent of total votes on Sunday — compared with an estimated 38 per cent for centre-right parties and 34 per cent for the…