Macron’s Party Does Poorly in France’s Postponed Local Elections
France’s Greens have seen a surge.
The second round of France’s local elections, which was put off by three months because of the coronavirus lockdown, has brought disappointing results for the centrist liberal party LREM of President Emmanuel Macron.
About 15% of France’s municipal councils were up for grabs in the second round of the country’s 2020 local elections on Sunday, June 28, more than three months after the first round was held on March 15. The second round had originally been scheduled for March 22.
Some 16.5 million eligible French voters cast ballots in nearly 5,000 cities and towns where the first round of municipal voting had not produced clear winners, France24 reported.
President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling party, “La Republique En Marche!” (“Republic on the Move!”) failed to score any major wins – although acting Prime Minister Edouard Philippe did win back his old job as Mayor of the Normandy city of Le Havre.
Philippe is allowed to hold two executive posts under French law but it remains unknown for the time being whether Macron might sack him as Prime Minister.
There have been forecasts that the President might do just that in preparation for the next French presidential election 22 months from now as Philippe is presently more popular than Macron.
Government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye described the poor results of LREM in the party’s first local elections as a “disappointment”
There are places… where our own internal divisions brought us to results that were extremely disappointing,” Ndiaye told French television.
France’s Greens scored substantial victories on Sunday, with early vote count projections showing that Europe Ecology – The Greens party (EELV), was set to win the major cities of Lyon, Bordeaux and Strasbourg and was in a very close contest for Lille.
Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally won in the southern city of Perpignan, in what would be the first far-right takeover of a French city of more than 100,000 inhabitants since 1995.
The incumbent Socialist Mayor of Paris, Spanish-born Anne Hidalgo, was reelected with 50.2% of the votes. Socialist candidates also won in Lille, Nantes, Brest, and Rennes.
Back in 2014, 61-year-old Hidalgo became the first women to ever serve as Mayor of the French capital.
The second round of France’s 2020 local elections saw a very low turnout of about 40%, roughly the same as the record low turnout in the first round back in March.
According to the Elysee Palace, Macron himself described the low turnout as “not very good news.”
France has been one of the worst-hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic, and has already seen nearly 30,000 COVID-19 deaths.
(Banner image: Anne Hidalgo on Twitter)