Sun Jun 28th, 2020 at 01:26:04 PM EST
I am a citizen assessor today at my local polling place in Lyon: looking up names, and verifying the integrity of the process.
The first round should have been cancelled, as it was held just a few days before confinement. Turnout was, logically, very low, and in particular, elderly electors mostly stayed away, wisely. The government then toyed with the idea of annulling the results of the first round, and holding both rounds of the elections after the confinement; this was unthinkable, particularly in the context, because the lists of Macron's La République en Marche party performed horribly, with no chance of winning a major city in the second round.
The first round was dominated by a "green wave" almost everywhere, with combined green-left lists set to make major gains in many places.
Frontpaged - Bernard
Lyon is a special case: the Mayor, Gérard Collomb, was elected as a Socialist, with the support of all the left and of the Greens; then defected to Macron, becoming minister of the Interior for two years, before hurrying home to prepare his re-election. In the meantime, his chosen placeholder, Georges Képénékian, had acquired a taste for the job of Mayor, and ran against him. Likewise, his replacement as president of the metropolitan region is running against him in that simultaneous election.
With the green wave, it turned out to be the perfect storm for old Gérard, and his lists came third in most districts, behind the Greens and the Républicains, the; traditional right. Too proud or vindictive to merge his lists with those of his disloyal lieutenants, he ended up naming a young, pliable candidate for mayor.
I like to think of him as King Lear, "more sinned against than sinning", in his own opinion, abandoned by his daughters Regan and Gonneril, but supported by the dutiful Cordelia...
Then he messed up the analogy with a dramatic twist, merging his lists with his lifelong enemies Les Républicains.
The various lists of the left united behind the Greens, making first-time candidate Grégory Doucet heavy favourite for Mayor.
Collomb has been running a scare campaign, painting the Greens (with whom he governed for fifteen years) as Khmer Verts, bent on destroying the economy... I couldn't make any sense of it, until I realised that he is trying to mobilize the elderly non voters from the first round, who mostly don't grok the green memes...
And indeed, I have seen a lot of elderly electors this morning, with overall turnout so far behind even the disastrously low level of the first round... So maybe the result will be closer than I expected?
We should know by about 9:30 this evening. Stay tuned.