White, ageing and male: the profile of a typical French mayor

By and

Paris is about to have its first woman mayor in the city's long history. But the certainty that either socialist Anne Hidalgo or right-wing candidate Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet will take the reins of the French capital after the two rounds of local elections that start this Sunday masks the fact that most French towns and cities will be run by a man whichever of the main parties wins the local vote. An examination of the mayoral election candidates by Mediapart has revealed that the great majority are male, white – and not very young. Lénaïg Bredoux and Ellen Salvi report on the slow progress made by the country's two major mainstream parties in making their politicians more representative of the populace.

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Town hall seeks man, white, preferably with a lengthy CV of his election history. Despite the stated objectives of both major political parties in France, that remains the typical mayoral candidate who will be standing at France's local elections that take place over two rounds, beginning on Sunday, 23rd March. An examination by Mediapart of the lists of candidates put forward by the ruling Socialist Party and the main opposition party the UMP in large towns - those with populations of more than 30,000 – shows that attempts to feminise the face of local politics still have a long way to go.