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Regional elections in France 2021 - statistics & facts

In 2015, as part of the decentralization process implemented under the presidency of François Hollande, a law relating to the redrawing of the regions and the modification of the electoral calendar became effective in France. The aim was to reduce the number of administrative levels and to have larger regions to compete with other large European ones. The regional elections of 2021 were the second to be held within the framework of these new regions.

An organization complicated by the crisis

Initially scheduled for March, the two rounds of elections were held on June 20 and 27, 2021. In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the scientific council judged the risks related to the organization of the elections to be too high. This postponement is not the only consequence of the crisis, which caused some organizational incidents and problems. For instance, the assessors at some polling stations noticed that during the first round, ballots for certain lists were missing from the voting tables, which raises the question of the sincerity of the ballot. In some regions, polling stations were simply unable to open at 8:00 a.m. due to a lack of assessors. The distribution of the ballot papers also seems to have been problematic. Difficulties were noted in the mailing, and some voters did not receive the traditional election propaganda. In a July report, a Senate investigation revealed that at least a quarter of voters did not receive any documents for the first round. Yet, this communication from the electoral services is one of the information vectors that the French consider the most useful.

A very low voter turnout

Besides these dysfunctions, one of the most striking facts of this election was the record abstention rate recorded at the end of the two rounds: never has an election campaign been viewed with such indifference, and about two out of three French people did not go to vote. Faced with this phenomenon, some media reacted in a distressed tone, and seemed to neglect the conflicting aspect of what could also be perceived as a conscious act. Indeed, if a good part of the abstentionists evoke unavailability as a factor of abstention, it can also reflect that voters see their vote as useless, and a reluctance to give any legitimacy to the electoral process.

Reshaping the framework of mobilization

Young people were particularly affected by abstention: the rate reached more than 80 percent among those under 35. However, many of the movements of solidarity and mobilization that emerged a few months earlier, when the health crisis was turning into a social crisis, came from this same age group. The same applies to the struggles against climate change or anti-racism movements, which are often led by young people, and can be seen as response to insufficient political action on these topics. Thus, while a lack of civic mindedness is often cited as a reason for abstention among those who went to vote, fewer abstainers share this opinion. This apparent distancing from politics may not be simply interpreted as depoliticization, but could instead mean that the form of mobilization has changed.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 31 most important statistics relating to "Regional elections in France 2021".

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