Second Round of Municipal Elections: This Sunday, Return to the Polls for 16 Million French people

General News
Volunteers in a polling station before the second round of the municipal elections, in Paris on June 26, 2020.

15% of the municipalities are concerned by this ballot, as well as the districts and sectors of Paris, Lyon, Marseille, where the councils were not fully elected on March 15th.

On your masks, ready, vote! Voters are called to the polls this Sunday 28th June 2020 for the second round of municipal elections, almost three and a half months after the first round. The polling stations opened their doors at 8 am.

More than 157,000 candidates and 16.5 million voters – necessarily wearing a mask – in 4,820 municipalities are affected by this extraordinary election. Who is under reinforced health protection with wearing of the mask in the polling stations, hydroalcoholic gel and priority to vulnerable people to vote.

However, the municipal elections were again postponed in Guyana, where the virus continues to spread.

Towards massive abstention?

Some 15% of the municipalities are concerned, as well as the districts and sectors of Paris, Lyon, Marseille, where the councils were not fully elected on March 15. The second round mainly concerns the cities, since the rural communes massively concluded the election in the first round.

Besides the traditional duels, the candidates will compete in 786 triangular and 155 quadrangular.

The first challenge will be that of participation, after the plunge in the first round, when less than one voter in two (44.3% against 63.5% in 2014) had come to vote due to the risk of contamination. After a campaign often confined to social networks and the media, massive abstention is looming again.

After a campaign often confined to social networks and the media, massive abstention is looming again. “It is almost identical, even a little less than in the first round,” said Sunday morning to AFP Elsabeth Revel, president of polling station 18, in Dijon.

“There was too much time between the two rounds. People are outside of this election. The faithful come, but the others … “

Six out of ten French people concerned may not go to vote, according to several polls. An even higher proportion than in the first round. But many voters do not decide until the last moment.

Main innovation, of limited scope, to facilitate voting: the same proxy may have two proxies instead of one, to allow a larger number of people, especially the elderly, to vote without having to travel.

Big cities in the balance

No more irremovable mayors who chose their successor! The results promise to be tight this time in a dozen major cities in France. In Paris, Anne Hidalgo (PS) seems in a position to keep the city on the left, with around 44% of voting intentions, far ahead of her competitors Rachida Dati (LR) and Agnès Buzyn (LREM) .

“She led a political project which succeeded in containing the ecological push which one registers elsewhere and she managed to mobilize her electorate”, analyzes Bernard Sananès of the institute of studies Elabe.

But the outcome of the ballot is very uncertain in Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Montpellier or even Lille, mainly under pressure from environmentalists.

For La République en Marche, the day of the vote is that of the end of the ordeal: few of its candidates are well placed – with the exception of Strasbourg – and the low-cost campaign has hardly allowed them to make themselves known. “Beyond the unpopularity it generates, macronism remains a strong movement at the national level, but which so far has not succeeded in establishing itself” on the territory, underlines Bernard Sananès.

Sunday evening, the result at Le Havre, where Edouard Philippe plays his future at Matignon , will be highly anticipated. The Prime Minister, who is experiencing a resurgence in popularity, is credited with 53% of voting intentions (Ifop). But the importance of the stake can mobilize the abstainers of the first round.

“Third round”

The municipal councillors, elected for six years, will then meet from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 July to elect the mayors and their assistants. And in some cities, it will indeed be necessary to wait for this “third round” to know the name of the mayor.

Voters will also elect, on the same ballot, on Sunday, the community councils of some 1,100 communities of municipalities, metropolises or agglomerations, where local government is now concentrated. Inter-municipal authorities whose role will be essential for economic recovery after the health crisis.

These municipal elections are finally held on the eve of a crucial sequence for President Emmanuel Macron, expected at the end of the morning in a polling station in Le Touquet. The head of state could, in the coming days, carry out a reshuffle and specify his stated intention to “reinvent himself” for the last two years of his term.

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