after the green wave, the return of the left in the foreground?

The second round of the municipal elections on Sunday was marked by a green wave in Marseille, Lyon, Strasbourg or Bordeaux, while the socialists retained their bastions in Paris, Nantes, Lille or Rennes. With such results, the Left hopes to sign its return to the national scene.

And suddenly hope is allowed again on the left side. By winning in most major French cities, Sunday, June 28, during the second round of the municipal elections, the candidates of this political family have regained the flame of their supporters and made them forget, the site of an election night, the historic defeat of 2017.

While Europe Ecology-Les Verts (EELV) has so far only managed one big city, Grenoble, since 2014, the list of green winners continued to grow on Sunday night: Grégory Doucet in Lyon, Jeanne Barseghian in Strasbourg, Pierre Hurmic in Bordeaux – city that held by the right for 73 years -, Emmanuel Denis in Tours, François Astorg in Annecy, Anne Vignot in Besançon, Léonore Moncond’huy in Poitiers and maybe, while waiting for the “third round”, Michèle Rubirola in Marseille.

The Greens had never known such success in the municipal elections. One year after their good points in the European elections in 2019, their new status as a central force on the left is now being defended.

The performance of EELV candidates is all the more spectacular as they are largely unknown to the public and have succeeded, often even not, in the face of alliances between Les Républicains (LR) and the Republic of the Road (LREM). Few leaders of the Green Party would have bet on a victory for Pierre Hurmic in Bordeaux against the outgoing mayor and runner-up of Alain Juppé, Nicolas Florian, allied with the macronist Thomas Cazenave.

Similarly, in Strasbourg, where environmental activists legitimately fear that the last-minute alliance between LR and LREM would cause them to lose leadership in the first round, especially in the absence of an agreement with former Socialist Mayor Catherine Trautmann. But Jeanne Barseghian crushed her competitor by about eight points ahead.

“What has won is the desire for a concrete ecology, in action, that offers solutions for travel, housing, food, how to weave the local economy,” welcomed TF1 Yannick Jadot, Member of the European Parliament and former Head of EELV- list for Europeans, see “a jump on the ecological project”.

“Let’s continue to cultivate the common, more than chaplain separatism”

But beyond the “green wave” that marked the second round of the municipal elections, the details of the victories achieved by environmental activists show that these were possible thanks to the alliances formed with the Socialist Party (PS), La France Insurgency (LFI), Communist Party (PCF) and Génération .s. Alone, EELV is subject to defeat, as is Stéphane Baly who he missed a few votes on Sunday evening to eliminate socialist Martine Aubry in Lille.

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The national secretary, Julien Bayou, also failed. “Until 2022, for the coming deadlines, let’s continue to cultivate the common more than chaplain separatism,” he said. The head of the EELV probably also had in mind the Marseille example of Michèle Rubirola, first suspended from the party to refuse the management’s independent logic and then received support after coming first in the first round thanks to the union of the left.

The Socialist Party also had a wonderful evening. In the shadow of the victories won the EELV, Anne Hidalgo won in Paris, Johanna Rolland won in Nantes, Michaël Delafosse pleased Montpellier, Nathalie Appéré held Rennes, François Rebsamen was reelected in Dijon, Stéphane Le Foll l won in Le Mans, etc.

Burning defender for left sitting since his accession to the post of PS’s first secretaryOlivier Faure comes out comforted by this – long – sequence of municipal elections and wants to believe in a political turning point, three years after the election of Emmanuel Macron. “A tremendous momentum is rising all over France, he said. All the left and environmentalists are winning huge victories. This is what is happening, we have something in this country that is about to be born, a social-ecological block that must now be consolidated.”

Green performs less outside metropolitan areas

All representatives of the various left-wing political forces gave a similar speech on Sunday evening, each wanting to use the light at their level.

For Benjamin Lucas, spokesman for Génération.s, the party founded by Benoît Hamon, “is a new democratic breath possible with environmental activists and left for climate and social justice. Let’s be up to par, let’s prepare the gathering for the change in 2022, “he tweeted.

For Fabien Roussel, PCF’s national secretary, a party that loses its historic foothold in Saint-Denis for the benefit of socialist Mathieu Hanotin, “one takes a turning point for more social justice and more ecology. Although abstinence reaches a record, the signal sent to the president of the republic and his majority is clear: the French do not want their politics in their city or country. “

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“This is the left’s first big victory in eight years” and François Hollande’s victory in the 2012 presidential election welcomed Pierre Jouvet, PS spokesman. “The challenge today is not who the Greens or Socialists have won. We have shown that together we can bring hope. It must be the first step in rebuilding a capable left to win in 2022,” he added.

However, be careful not to base local results on a possible national dynamic. A recent Ifop-Fiducial opinion poll gave Yannick Jadot (EELV) just 8% in the first round. The green performance is also “much worse outside or around cities,” says AFP Émeric Bréhier, director of the Political Life Observatory at the Jean-Jaurès Foundation.