French municipal elections: Macron the big loser?
Before the second round of the municipal elections in France - postponed from March 22 to June 28 due to the Covid-19 pandemic - electoral alliances are being forged in numerous cities and towns. In many places the Socialists are joining forces with the Greens and other left-wing parties in a bid to improve the chances of their strongest candidates. Commentators speculate about the results.
President's party likely to take a pasting
The local elections come at a bad time for the president and his movement, The Spectator comments:
“The impact on the popularity of President Macron and his government will be serious. Already at rock bottom before the crisis as a result of the yellow vest movement and national strikes, Macron did not benefit from the 'rally round the flag' seen in other countries and his approval rating has never climbed above a low 40 per cent. On 28 June the second round of local elections - delayed by the epidemic - will take place and Macron's LREM party is likely to take a pasting, compounded by its lack of a local grassroots powerbase.”
A chance for the left
France's left-wing parties are on the rise again, Avgi comments:
“The Communist Party believes it can maintain a majority in 61 cities with over 10,000 inhabitants, and hopes to 'conquer' more. ... At the local level, the French Communist Party is the country's third largest political force. In the first round in March, 1,072 councilors were elected or re-elected. The Socialist Party, meanwhile, has had the wind at its back in the election campaign for some time now. It's not worried about its traditional strongholds like Rennes and Nantes, where it has the support of the Greens, or Paris with Anne Hidalgo (who has a lead of almost 30 percentage points against Macron's candidate).”
Old parties are overtaking LREM
Macron's LREM is facing an uphill battle against the conservative Les Républicains (LR) and the parties on the left, Libération says:
“We already know with a high probability that the second round of municipal elections will see a winner and a loser: On the one hand LR, which already rules in many municipalities and will benefit from its position as incumbent, and LREM on the other, handicapped by its weak local presence and the president's loss of popularity. ... And the left? People said it was dead, but don't write it off too soon. Firstly, because the left also has a group of incumbents with records that speak for themselves. ... And also because the rise of the Greens that we saw in the EU elections will undoubtedly be reflected at the local level.”