In March, France held the first round of its 2020 municipal elections in over 35,000 cities, despite the health threat posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Voters were asked to choose their local councilors, and indirectly, mayors. The country recorded historically low turnout on March 15, with less than 45 percent of registered voters making it to the polls. The country then went into lockdown — delaying the second round of the elections until later this year, or possibly even next year.
So how did things look for French President Emmanuel Macron’s center-right party — La République En Marche, “The Republic on the Move”? LREM didn’t get the crushing majorities that it claimed in elections in 2017. But it also didn’t collapse, despite intense protests from the “yellow vests” movement and widespread opposition to the government’s pension overhauls.