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French President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic on the Move party, which had a poor showing in Sunday’s first round of regional elections, will not pull candidates out of the second round, even if they have no chance of winning. Party leaders said that staying in the race does not pose a danger for the hard right to win and allows the party to develop locally.
Macron’s LaRem party performed poorly across the country, coming in fifth nationally with an average of just over ten percent, barely enough to make it into the second round.
The party has had trouble drawing grassroots support after four years in power nationally.
"It is a reminder that we, as the presidential majority, have work to do to build up a local presence, which is a long and laborious task that doesn't happen in one election," LaRem party leader Stanislas Guerini told France Inter radio.
LaRem lists failed to win the minimum ten percent of the vote required to make it into the runoff in 4 of the 13 mainland regions.
The party said it would not pull out of the nine regions where it did qualify, while other parties are working on alliances and election strategies to block the far-right National Rally from winning any region.
Marine Le Pen's party came in second nationally, though it won fewer votes than expected.
The Green party has pulled out of the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur race, calling for supporters to vote for the centre-right to block the National Rally. This is a strategy called the “front républicain” in which mainstream parties pull out of contested races to block the hard right.
LaRem allied itself with the Républicain candidate in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur the first round, so the issue is moot.
And the party did not win enough votes to get to the second round of the Hauts-de-France region, where the RN came in second, after the Républicains.
Elsewhere the party has opted to keep its lists in the race.
Prime Minister Jean Castex told a meeting of lawmakers that the party has decided not to pull out of races even if they will not win because “it is important for elected officials to have our values”.