French municipal elections: Greens make second round gains

France’s Green Party and its leftist allies achieved significant gains in a second round of local elections.

They captured cities like Lyon, Strasbourg and Besançon.

President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party, LREM, which lacks the kind of support it enjoys at the local level, has failed to win in any major city.

The research was postponed in March because of the coronavirus crisis. Restrictions such as mandatory face masks remained in place and participation was very low.

The first round of municipal elections was held two days before the government declared a blockade on March 17.

The second round, scheduled for a week later, was postponed until the last Sunday in June.

Confirming strong displays in the first round, Green-backed candidates or green politicians won or were about to win in a number of cities, including Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Nancy.

In Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo – whose socialist party was practically devastated at the national level – comfortably won. Another prominent socialist, Martine Aubry, was narrowly re-elected in Lille.

Anne Hidalgo celebrates her second-round victory, 28 June
Source: BBC

In a rare positive development for Macron, his popular Prime Minister Édouard Philippe was elected mayor of the port city of Le Havre, in the northwest of the country.

This could lead to a cabinet reshuffle, although the constitution allows Philippe to appoint a replacement as mayor while he remains in office.

A far right National Rally candidate took Perpignan in the south. It is the first time that the party has taken control of a French city with a population of over 100,000 people.

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