About 16.5 million voters are called to vote on Sunday in about 5,000 municipalities for the second round of municipal elections, which is postponed by three months due to the coronavirus epidemic. This vote is held under strict sanitary conditions.
Nearly three and a half months after the first round, French voters will vote Sunday, June 28, for the second round of municipal elections in 4,820 municipalities.
More than 157,000 candidates and 16.5 million voters are concerned about this extraordinary vote, which is being held under improved health protection by wearing masks at election stations, hydroalcoholic gel and prioritizing vulnerable people to vote because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
About 15% of the municipalities are affected, as are the areas and sectors in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, where the councils were not fully elected on March 15. The second round applies mainly to the cities, as the rural municipalities massively ended the elections in the first round. In addition to the traditional duels, the candidates will compete in 786 triangular and 155 square. However, the vote is postponed again in Guyana, where the virus continues to spread.
The first challenge will be to participate, after the depth of the first round, when less than one voter in two (44.3% versus 63.5% in 2014) had come to the vote because of the risk of pollution.
After a campaign that is often limited to social networks and the media, massive abstinence will return again. Six out of ten French people affected may not vote, according to several surveys. An even higher percentage than in the first round. But many voters do not decide until the last moment.
Main innovation, to a limited extent, to facilitate voting rights: the same power of attorney can have two agents instead of one, so that a larger number of people, especially the elderly, can vote without having to travel.
Close to duels in big cities
The results promise to be narrow in a dozen major cities in France. In Paris, Anne Hidalgo (PS) seems to be able to keep the city to the left, with about 44% of the vote, well ahead of its competitors LR Rachida Dati and LREM Agnès Buzyn.
But the result of the vote is very uncertain in Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Montpellier or even Lille, mainly under pressure from environmental activists. For La République en Marche, the vote is the day for the end of the test: few of its candidates are well-placed, with the exception of Strasbourg, and the low-cost campaign has hardly allowed them to announce.
Sunday evening, the result in Le Havre, where Édouard Philippe plays his future at Matignon, will be very much expected. The Prime Minister, who is experiencing a resurgence in popularity, is credited with 53% of the votes (Ifop). But the importance of the effort can mobilize those who hold the first round.
A breakthrough for the Greens?
Much weakened at the national level, the Socialist Party and Republicans have restored their health locally. PS can keep its bastions, Paris, Nantes, Rennes, Dijon, and should return to the level it was after the loss of many cities in 2014.
Republicans confirmed their establishment by winning many of the cities in the first round with more than 9,000 residents they controlled. But a defeat in Marseille, which the court has held for 25 years, or in Toulouse, France’s fourth city, would have a strong political resonance.
The EELV candidates, carried out by the environmental scales, target several major cities, including Grenoble, Lyon, Strasbourg, Besançon, to confirm their establishment, and they condemn “anticological fronts” to make them a barrier. For the Greens, who have long served as an auxiliary force, it is also a matter of keeping themselves as the first left before the next election deadlines.
Emmanuel Macron’s main opponent at the national level, Rassemblement national transfers his hopes to Perpignan after a mixed first round. If it was victorious, it would be the first city with more than 100,000 residents controlled by the party since 1995.
The city council, elected for six years, will then meet from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 July to select mayors and their assistants. And in some cities, it will actually be necessary to wait for this “third round” to know the name of the mayor.
Voters also vote on the same vote on the Sunday community councils in about 1,100 municipalities, metropolitan areas or urban areas, where local authorities are now concentrated. Inter-municipal authorities whose role will be crucial for economic recovery after the health crisis.