June 29 (UPI) — France’s Green Party took key wins in several large cities Sunday, upending President Emmanuel Macron‘s plans to sure up his base and threaten his expected 2022 re-election bid.
Socialist Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo easily beat Macron-supported challenger Agnes Buzyn, who mustered 14 percent of the vote against Hidalgo’s 49 percent. The Greens took city elections Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Lyon, the country’s third-largest city.
“A Green wave is rising in France,” Yannick Jadot, a Green member of the European Parliament, told a French television station, pointing to the local wins.
While the Green Party secured victories on the left, Marine Le Pen‘s conservative Rassemblement National party won in Perpignan, the largest city pickup in more than 20 years.
It was the first waveof election since the coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Voter turnout fell to 40 percent, an all-time low in France.
In a small bit of good news for Macron, Edouard Philippe, who served as his prime minister, won the mayoral race in Le Havre.
“Ecology is the area where Macron is perceived as having done nothing,” Frederic Dabi, the director of pollster Ifop. “The French will want results on green issues.”