The French favor their mayors, who are insufficiently protected and paid according to them


Emmanuel Macron received several hundred mayors at the Élysée on Wednesday. POOL / REUTERS

SURVEY – With 65% good opinions, city councilors remain the French people’s favorite elected officials, according to an Odoxa-Backbone Consulting survey for Le Figaro.

“Communities attacked, Republic threatened”. The theme of 105th Congress of the ociation of Mayors of France (AMF), which has been held since Monday in Paris, sets the tone. Shaken by the brutality of the riots which hit France this summer, local elected officials must now deal with ambient and daily violence. A climate of insecurity highlighted by the latest figures from the Ministry of the Interior, which notes a 32% increase in attacks against elected officials in 2022 and forecasts a further increase of 15% for 2023.

Ramparts of the Republic at the local level, mayors are favored by the French. 65% have a good opinion of their councilors according to an Odoxa-Backbone Consulting survey for Le Figaro. A result up two points compared to 2019, a sign of growing recognition from the population. Favorite elected officials of the French, mayors are far ahead of regional (39%) and department (37%) presidents but also deputies (38%) and senators (27%).

A recognition which, however, does not translate financially. For 59% of French people, mayors do not receive remuneration commensurate with their duties. The president of the AMF, David Lisnardalready made this observation on Sunday: “The majority of mayors earn less than 1,080 euros, below the minimum wage. Very often, they lose financially. But the mayor of Cannes ures him, the financial subject is “notnot at all a priority in the minds of elected officials”. If salary is not the primary motivation for city councilors, 52% of the population still consider that an increase in their income would be effective in remedying the vocations crisis. Compared to the previous mandate, the rate of resignation of mayors increased by 30%, according to a Cevipof survey for The world .

The security of mayors, “poorly ured”

The episode of urban violence last June and July was the culmination of the mayors’ loneliness in the face of insecurity. The car-ramming attack on the home of the mayor of Haÿ-les-Roses, Vincent Jeanbrun, during the riots revealing all the brutality against municipal elected officials. And the government’s announcement last July of a national plan to combat violence against elected officials did nothing: 64% of French people continue to think that the security of local elected officials is poorly ensured. A figure which has jumped by 8 points since January 2022. Citizens also point to a protection service for elected officials with variable geometry. For 85% of them, ministers and parliamentarians are entitled to a satisfactory security system. The presumed dangerousness of the profession also makes 61% of French people say that they would give up running for elected office.

If local elected officials are largely supported by the French, the possible return of the accumulation of local and national mandates does not find favor in their eyes. Among the 72% of those who resist, left-wing sympathizers are the most opposed to the rehabilitation of the system. In the lead, environmentalist voters (81%), followed by socialists (77%) and rebels (75%). Same story among those close to the National Rally, 73% of whom are against it. Those close to the Republicans appear less severe, with only 54% hostile to the measure while at Renaissance, disapproval rises to 65%.



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