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In French elections, a green turning point: ‘The landscape is reordering itself’

17 1 3
02.07.2020

Analysis. The second round of the municipal elections on Sunday confirmed the polls, with the Greens winning several prominent victories. However, low voter turnout is a shadow over their success.

written by Anna Maria Merlo

Topic European Union

PARIS

July 2, 2020

There was a green turn in the big French cities in these latest municipal elections. But the Greens, who now think that “the alternative is being built around ecology,” will not join the new government that Macron is set to announce any day now, because the president “is not ecological enough and is not social enough.”

The second round of the municipal elections on Sunday confirmed the polls, with the Greens winning several prominent victories: Lyon, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, but also Annecy and Tours will have a mayor from Europa Ecologia. In Paris as well, Anne Hidalgo won decisively, whose campaign focused on ecological commitment. In Marseille, the situation is still unclear: the candidate of the Printemps Marseillais, a coalition of left-wing parties and city collectives, is in the lead, but the local right—the crony establishment—is not letting go without a fight.

However, there is a shadow hanging over this Green success: the very high absenteeism, at 59%. It is a historical high, which cannot be explained by the fear of COVID alone. It was a “civic strike,” “a cold insurrection,” according to Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

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