‘Green Tsunami’ Washes Over France’s City Halls

Municipal elections in France just yielded a string of victories for environmentalists, with several major cities swinging Green.

The unprecedented showing for Europe Écologie Les Verts, a once minor political party, means Green mayors will take charge in Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux and Strasbourg. The party also came out on top in mid-sized cities such as Tours, Besancon, Annecy and Poitiers, while retaining control of Grenoble.

Even Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo was re-elected with the Green Party’s endorsement, causing French media to upgrade their description of the “green wave” to a “green tsunami.”

It’s too soon to call it a permanent shift, though. The first round of voting in March came as the nation was shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The second round, on June 28, came just days after the lockdown was lifted. Perhaps as a result, national turnout was only 40%. Moreover, in several cities where the Greens now hold power—most notably Marseille—they are part of a coalition with more established parties.

Read More