Failure of LREM, green surge in the big cities: the municipal ones, marked by a historical abstention, open a new political chapter for the big parties and Emmanuel Macron.
With the victories of EELV alone or allied with the left parties, “it is perhaps the first stone of a renaissance of a left bloc which is laid, with the ecological matrix at the heart”, underlines with l ‘AFP Stewart Chau, political consultant at ViaVoice.
Another highlight of this election: the historically low turnout, between 40% and 41% according to estimates (62.1% in 2014), after 44.3% in the first round, on March 15, two days before the establishment a historic containment against the coronavirus epidemic.
Emmanuel Macron said from the start of the evening “concerned” about this very strong abstention.
The election of the mayor, synonymous with proximity, is a vote generally appreciated by the French.
But this time, “all the conditions were met for there to be no participation: no national issue, no campaign, a lot of time passed between the two rounds” due to the health crisis, explains to AFP political scientist Gérard Grunberg.
This abstention is also “a message of distrust and a questioning of the democratic system” which confirms a trend at work for several years, adds Stewart Chau.
At LREM, whose objective of 10,000 advisers was modest and whose lists had suffered from the first round, it was disappointment, with the failure to establish a local anchor, the loss of Lyon or the defeat of the formed tandem with LR to win in Bordeaux.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, however, won in Le Havre against the Communist candidate.
– “End of the old left” –
It is the EELV environmentalists who mark the second round of these elections. After already having a surprise score of more than 13% at the Europeans in June 2019, this time they have won trophy victories in several major cities: Marseille, Lyon (city and metropolis), Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Besançon, Nancy, Tours.
The Greens had until then managed only one large city, Grenoble, since 2014.
This “green push” in the big cities is all the more remarkable since “it is the first time that a dynamic observed in the European elections is confirmed in another election”, underlines Stewart Chau.
For Gérard Grunberg, “it is the funeral of the PS and the PCF, the end of the old left: environmentalists are in the process of making the skin of all the other left parties”.
It is also “the funeral of Jean-Luc Mélenchon”, with a rebellious France absent or drowned in alliances.
The PS remains in the lead in its Parisian strongholds (Anne Hidalgo won in front of Rachida Dati, before a third round), and Lille, where Martine Aubry wins before the environmentalists, but on the wire.
For the left, there is now “the question of” leadership and relations between the PS and EELV, with a view to the regional elections in 2021 and the presidential elections in 2022 “, underlines Estelle Craplet, director of studies at BVA:” s’ they managed to forge alliances, the question will then be for them to have a consensual figure at the national level “.
– LR stays in Toulouse –
For Emmanuel Macron, who plans to turn the page of this failed election for his party as of Monday, by meeting the 150 French citizens of the Citizen’s Climate Convention, the challenge now is to “convince of his capacity for action in the field of ecology, which is not the subject where it is most identified “by voters, notes Ms. Craplet.
But, nuance Mr. Grunberg, beware of the differences between local and national voting dynamics: a recent Ifop-Fiducial poll for the presidential election gave a Yannick Jadot (EELV) at only 8% in the first round.
He also underlines that beyond the green vote in big cities, voters have often “voted for their mayor – they re-elected him – and the French urban fabric should remain largely in the hands of the right”.
The boss of the Republicans Christian Jacob thus claimed Sunday evening the victory of his party in “more than half of the cities of more than 9,000 inhabitants”, after the failure of the presidential election of 2012 and the Europeans of 2019.
LR stayed in Toulouse after an uncertain ballot facing the left with the re-election of Jean-Luc Moudenc. But the balance sheet is tarnished by the loss of Marseille, which fell into the hands of environmentalists after 25 years of domination by the right.
On the far right, the Rassemblement national, which had suffered in the first round from the abstention of young people and popular categories, saved the day by getting their hands on Perpignan, won by Louis Aliot. It is the first city of more than 100,000 inhabitants conquered by the party since Toulon in 1995.