Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As the farmers say: It's when the cattle fair is over that you can count the cow pies. So here we are: One week after, the newly elected municipal councils have had their first meetings and the new mayors have been duly elected. This is what it looks like and what the main changes since the last elections in 2014 are (source and source):

* EELV (Greens): A green wave, not a tsunami

Out of the 42 cities with a population over 100,000, EELV won 7 of them, plus Marseille (with a left-wing coalition), mostly having beaten a right-wing incumbent. Grenoble was the only such city, back in 2014, and Mayor Eric Piolle was re-elected by a wide margin. In addition to Grenoble and Marseille, EELV will be running Lyon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Tours, Annecy and Besançon.
Yet, EELV successes are mostly limited to big city centers and seldom extends to the surrounding suburbs. Most Metropolitan councils will still be run by either the PS or LR; exceptions are Lyon and Grenoble. As for smaller cities: EELV only won about 30 cities with a population above 3,500, less than 1%, so a wave but no tsunami.

* PS (Socialists): Mostly stable
In many big cities, the PS and other mainstream left parties have run a common list with EELV and won, as in  Lille, Rennes, Nantes, Montpellier, Dijon or Paris, but they also supported EELV as junior partners in some of the newly won cities like Lyon, Bordeaux, Tours, Annecy and Besançon. They retained about the same numbers of cities as in 2014 (won some like Nancy, Corbeil, Périgueux, Chambéry, Bourges or Quimper, but lost some to the mainstream right LR (Metz and Arles).
One point of note: many lists didn't run as 'PS', but under a general 'Miscellaneous Left' moniker.

* LR (mainstream right): Mostly stable too
This is the party formerly known as UMP during the Sarkozy times (and RPR during the Chirac times), firmly on the irght but always called 'centre-right' by the English language press. Just like the PS, some towns were won, some were lost, but the overall numbers remain similar to 2014, the bulk being medium sized towns. Also, as is the case for the PS, many lists did run under a generic label rather than a party name, a mark of the general weakness of many traditional political parties in France.

* RN (Extreme right): Receding
Despite winning Perpignan, their only big city, and a couple of medium sized towns, the RN in general is much less successful than in 2014: 827 councilors seats in 271 cities vs. 1,483 seats in 463 cities six years ago.

* LREM (Macronistas): A rout
For Macron and his dream of rooting his own party all over the country to the detriment of both LR and the PS, it's a complete failure. Their only main cities are Le Havre where incumbent mayor and former Prime minister Edouard Philippe has been re-elected, and Pau where Centrist and Macron ally François Bayrou has won re-election too.

* Women: Rising
More and more mayors of large cities are women: incumbents Martine Aubry (PS) in Lille and Anne Hidalgo (PS) in Paris have been reelected. The PS did also score with Nathalie Appéré in Rennes and Johanna Rolland in Nantes.  
Also: Michèle Rubirola in Marseille,  Anne Vignot in Besançon and Léonore Moncond'huy (age: 30) in Poitiers, all three EELV.

* Marseille: It's complicated
Then again politics in the 2nd largest French city have always been convoluted, ever since it was founded by the Greeks in 600 BC (in Marseille, the Romans are Johnnies come lately). Things are so colorful that it should have its own Netflix series (Oh, wait). Having been run for decades by the PS, Marseille flipped to then UMP in 1995. This year, Michèle Rubirola left EELV to lead a left-wing coalition named 'Le Printemps Marseillais' (Marseilles Spring). The coalition won a relative majority last Sunday, but this was not enough: under the sector-based system for the city, the mayor is elected by a 100-member strong general council representing all the sectors. Rubirola's coalition has 42 seats out of 100, with 41 for the right, 7 for the extreme right (who lost a district mayor seat) and 8 seats for Samia Ghalia, a dissident PS. In theory, the right could still get the mayor seat in today's election. After a complete day of political negotiations, the RN abstaining in a huff and two rounds of vote, Ghali finally rallied behind Rubirola who was elected mayor (I understand she's again a EELV member).

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jul 4th, 2020 at 07:12:19 PM EST
Worthy of a diary in its own right. Why not publish with an intro addressing some more general questions like: What are the implications  Does the decline of the far right bode well for European politics in general? for Macrons chances of retaining the Presidency? The Green Wave is reflected here in Ireland as well.

It seems that Trump and Brexit have fore-warned people what a far right government could look like, and people will be more appreciative of state supports in a post Covid-19 environment. A lot depends on how economies recover, however.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 4th, 2020 at 08:40:51 PM EST
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