August 06, 2019
Macron's next bet: municipal elections
French municipal elections next year may seem insignificant to the outsider, but they are an important strategic battle for Emmanuel Macron to get a foothold into the 35,000 town halls throughout France. Conquering cities such as Marseille, Lyon or Bordeaux is crucial to building a local power base that will help him deliver reforms later. Some 72 sitting centre-right mayors and senior local officials have already announced they will back Macron’s party, including the mayors of mid-sized cities such as Angers, Tours, Orléans, Amiens and Nancy. The question is whom LREM will choose to endorse.
Macron's team has now chosen its candidates to run in the races. In some cases the choice went against their own MP. Michèle Crouzet, an LREM deputy from the department of Yonne, did not get on the ticket and thus decided to resign from the party. Others might chose to leave the party too. Since June 2017 LREM already lost 12 MPs and was defeated in one by-election. With 303 deputies, they still hold an absolute majority which requires 289 seats. After all LREM is a party that came out of nothing with no local party base.
In September there comes the second stage of the process. LREM will have to chose which of the outgoing mayors they will support. This will be a political choice among non-LREM members and is expected to cause further resignations according to l'Opinion.