Green surge forecast in France's 2020 local elections

Political experts forecast 'a change in the game' in France's 2020 local elections

The green vote is the one most likely to bring surprises in France’s March 2020 local elections – the first national ballot since the presidential election.

No traditional political party is expected to dominate, with the election result being determined by the national picture and alliances between parties.

Alain Faure, politics lecturer and researcher at Sciences Po Grenoble, said: “The big news will probably be the Greens.

“There will be alliances, maybe between the ecologists and LREM [Mr Macron’s party] or with Les Républicains.

“It is the first time that we have candidates who do not claim to be from any party.

“And it’s the continuation of Emmanuel Macron’s election.

“There is a change in the game. As we saw during European elections, classic parties did not do well.”

His views were echoed by Bruno Cautrès, politics researcher at Sciences Po: “It will be the first national elections since the election of President Macron – and the challenge for his party [LREM] is to implant itself locally.”

Elections for a new Paris mayor take place on the same dates, March 15 and 22.

Benjamin Griveaux is the main LREM mayoral candidate. His goal is notably to represent the middle classes and offer less expensive housing.

Cédric Villani, MP and ex-member of LREM, has launched a rival campaign for “a greener and safer” Paris.

The mathematician wants to use science to make the city a better place, with more green spaces and electric transport shuttles 24/7 in the city.

Les Républicains has chosen Rachida Dati to head its list for Paris while the capital’s current mayor, Anne Hidalgo, is set to go on the campaign trail again for the socialists.

La France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party, supports Danielle Simonnet.

Ms Hidalgo is expected to win 24% of votes, in front of Benjamin Griveaux (19%), Cédric Villani (15%) and Rachida Dati (13%), according to a survey of 1,102 people by Ipsos in September.

In Marseille, the centre-right Les Républicains and Marine Le Pen’s party Le Rassemblement National are in the lead, according to a poll for BFMTV.

In Lyon and Nice, current mayors Gérard Collomb and Christian Estrosi are most likely to head the polls again.

Mr Cautrès said: “The socialist and republican parties are very weakened at the moment, and the fact that they will be able to show that they still exist is extremely important.”

Mayors and their local councillors will be elected for a six-year term of office.

Anyone aged 18 or over and registered on the electoral lists can vote, including EU citizens who live or pay taxes in France.