France's conservative party chief quits after poor election

PARIS (AP) — The leader of France’s traditional right-wing party The Republicans has resigned following its trouncing in the European Parliament election last month.

Laurent Wauquiez acknowledged that “defeat is lonely” as he quit on national television Sunday evening, a week after his party won less than 10% nationally of France’s vote. Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally won the largest share of the votes, followed closely by centrist President Emmanuel Macron’s party.

It’s the latest blow to what was one of the two major political parties in France along with the Socialists, which have both suffered since Macron ran as an outsider to win the French presidency in 2017 over Le Pen.

Goading the demise of the traditional right, National Rally Deputy Gilbert Collard told BFM-TV on Monday: “those who aren’t joining us don’t have the courage of their convictions.”