|Voting in Hazparne|
The first round of municipal elections was held yesterday in the state of France, whose artificial borders include the Northern Basque Country. The most notable development was the advance of the Basque Nationalist Left lists, many of whose candidates will be able to run in the second round.
The most notable successes took place in Ustaritze, where Bruno Carrere got the first place with 38% of the popular vote, Ziburu, where the Basque Nationalist list got 21% of the vote, forcing the conservative unionist mayor Guy Polou to fight in the second round next week, Baigorri, where the Basque Left won in the first round and in Arbona.
In many other towns the Basque Left has reached more than 10% of the vote, allowing them to fight the second round. Examples are Baiona (Bayonne), Miarritze (Biarritz), Hendaia, and Maule-Lexarre. In Baiona, the largest city, it seems likely that the French Left (5%) will support the Basque Left list of Jean-Claude Iriart next Sunday.
Instead some other towns (Donibane-Lohitzune, Hazparne, Donibane-Garazi, Kanbo) were settled in the first round but still the gains of the Basque Left are important.
Overall in the state, it is worrisome the advance of the fascist lists affiliated to the National Front, which has gathered a 4.78% of the overall votes (notice that they did not run in many towns). In some areas they have shown much more strength, as in the northern town Henin-Beaumont, where they won in the first round (>50% of the vote), or Perpinyá (Perpignan, Northern Catalonia) where they gathered 38%.
Overall the "French" polls show a growth of the Right (~47%), while the so-called Left (including the social-liberals of the PSF) gathered only the 38%. Abstention was high (39%).