The Debate

France's green wave: Will Macron manage to surf it?

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE © France 24

France's local elections on Sunday saw a green wave wash over the nation as the Greens party chalked up wins in the major cities of Marseille, Lyon, Strasbourg and Bordeaux. In Paris, incumbent Anne Hidalgo was returned as mayor promising more measures to reduce the city’s carbon footprint --and its pollution levels -- which fell dramatically under the covid lockdown.  Among the night’s biggest losers? Macron’s La Republic en Marche party which, despite its strong stance on environmental issues, suffered bruising losses at the ballot box.

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Even with an abstention rate of 60%, the success of the Greens’ sends an unequivocal message to the Élysée – that for many French voters the environment is now a priority.

So how do we account for the swing against Macron towards the Greens? Is it apathy towards politics? Fear of infection from Covid-19? Dissatisfaction with Macron? Or, could it be unresolved discontent from the Gilet Jaunes protests?

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