France’s President Sarkozy has kept well away from the campaigning in the regional elections, hoping they would be seen as votes on local issues rather than a midterm verdict on his job.
His prime minister has led the charge, and it has failed.
“We were not able to convince the electorate. I take my share of the blame and tomorrow morning I’ll speak about it with the President. We have to analyse this vote and respect it,” said Francois Fillon.
The Socialist-Green alliance led by Martine Aubry has taken every region except Alsace, which they had coveted to snatch a grand slam.
Three years into the political revolution promised by Sarkozy it appears the French have tired of their president and his UMP party.
It also seems voters were keen to express themselves, as turnout was up by two points on six years ago, at around 52%.
Sarkozy's UMP crashes in French regional elections