En five years, between 2017 and 2022, the French political landscape will have been profoundly changed. However, the asymmetry has never been so marked between the national political balance of power and the institutional establishment at the local levels. The two main political currents having monopolized the exercise of power for several decades have, for the second time in a row, been excluded from the second round of the presidential election. Worse, neither of their respective candidates managed to cross the symbolic – but financially decisive – threshold of 5% of the votes cast, Valérie Pécresse (Les Républicains, LR) culminating at 4.78 % and Anne Hidalgo (Socialist Party, PS) capping at 1.75%.
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Nevertheless, these two parties remain the structuring forces of the municipal, departmental and regional executives. Thus, of the 279 cities – metropolitan and overseas – with more than 30,000 inhabitants, LR and the PS held more than half of them the day after the municipal elections of 2020: 98 for the first and 53 for the second. Note, however, that several mayors of large cities such as Reims, Metz, Nice, Toulon, Toulouse or even Saint-Germain-en-Laye or La Roche-sur-Yon have since left LR, as well as the growing number of mayors no longer claiming a partisan label. In 2014, in these same municipalities with more than 30,000 inhabitants, eighteen mayors were ranked “various right” ; they were thirty-six in 2020.
As to “various left”, they went from six to thirty. This election will also have been marked by the breakthrough of Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV) in the big cities: the ecologists reach the head of seven municipalities of more than 100,000 inhabitants, including Lyon, Bordeaux and Strasbourg. A performance that the National Rally (RN) only achieves in a city of this size, Perpignan.
After the departmental and regional elections of 2021, the right presides over 68 departments, including 43 for LR, while the left only holds 26, including 21 for the PS. Finally, of the 17 regional or local authority presidencies, the party chaired by Eric Ciotti retains four – to which are added two exercised by various rightists – and that of Olivier Faure five. The local elected representatives constituting the bulk of the senatorial electoral college, LR forms the main group of the Senate with 145 members while the socialist group has 64. The France of the communities has therefore withstood the earthquake of the presidential and legislative elections.
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