Paris, June 22, 2024.

It was with gravity that Anne Hidalgo, on Wednesday, June 19, analyzed the political situation, 10 days after Emmanuel Macron’s dissolution of the Assemblée Nationale, and less than three weeks before the possible arrival of the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) to power: “I am the mayor of a city full of hope, ready to fight against those who would like to see its humanist legacy pushed away from it.”

At the start of a press conference devoted to the organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Paris mayor made a point of emphasizing that, “Paris will always be a rampart against the onslaught of hatred, a beacon of humanist values and freedom. (…) In this city, the far right has no place. It has its lowest scores here. I’m delighted about that.”

The Paris mayor’s pride in embodying this cultural exception is underpinned by traditional electoral results in the capital, where the RN has never made any significant inroads. In the European elections, the capital and its inner suburbs were the only departments in mainland France not to have placed Jordan Bardella’s party in the lead. Although up 1 point on the 2019 European elections (7.2%) with 8.5% of the vote, the Parisian RN list finished in sixth position, a long way from the 31.3% achieved nationally by the RN.

It was also far behind Raphaël Glucksmann, backed by the Socialists, who came out on top in Paris with 22.9% of the vote. Next came Valérie Hayer’s list for the presidential camp (17.7%) and Manon Aubry’s radical left La France Insoumise (16.8%). Adding the RN’s score to that of Eric Zemmour’s Reconquête!, the far right obtained a total of 14.5%. Zemmour’s list, carried by Marion Maréchal in the European elections, recorded almost the same score in Paris (5.9%) as in the rest of the country (5.5%).

Paris, a pink-green island in a sea of brown. Only three polling stations – out of 902 – placed the RN in the lead, in the 12th, 13th and 16th arrondissements. This came as no “surprise” to Florent Gougou, teacher-researcher at Sciences Po Grenoble: “The RN has clearly strengthened in its strongholds, and has made very little progress, or even stagnated in the places where it is weak. The RN is structurally weak in Paris due to the city’s sociology. Paris has a high concentration of citizens with a very high level of education and populations of immigrant origin from Africa, two segments of the population not very hostile to immigration. Today, this is still a necessary (but not always sufficient) condition for voting for RN.”

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