This article contributes to the ongoing research effort assessing the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on turnout in the municipal elections held in France in March and June 2020. Holding the election in pandemic times caused turnout to drop significantly, but unevenly so across the electorate. We use both aggregate electoral results at the polling station level and individual-level data drawn from a survey we conducted between June and July 2020. If fear of contagion partly explains voters’ abstention, this article highlights the contradictory effects of the pandemic on the socioeconomic determinants of voter turnout. On the one hand, the variation in turnout levels by age, which usually is quite significant in France, has considerably decreased in 2020. On the other hand, the differences in turnout levels according to the voters’ economic and social status have been reinforced during the pandemic. This analysis of local individual data shows that the health crisis has generated important consequences also on the patterns of social inequalities in political representation.
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