Cries of joy and a few first blows of horns rise around 10 p.m. around Michèle Rubirola's HQ, near Place Castellane, where the environmental candidate for the Printemps Marseillais (left union) has just arrived. Without a word for the cameras. This outsider, almost unknown to the general public six months ago, is now in a position to possibly take the second city of France to the right. After 25 years of Jean-Claude Gaudin's reign, the victory of this 63-year-old doctor, field activist from the Greens, would be a real thunderbolt. The left hopes to remove at least four out of eight sectors.
But if Martine Vassal, LR candidate and heiress of Jean-Claude Gaudin, seems to have lost, her left challenger Michèle Rubirola has not yet won 100%. "The election does not give us a clear verdict," said Michèle Rubirola at her campaign headquarters at 12:40 am, seeing it as "one of the last signs of resistance from a system that the Marseillais rejected this Sunday. It is a relative victory for us but a defeat for the right. The right is no longer able to govern Marseille! “, Hammered Michèle Riburola.
The head of the Printemps de Marseille list continued: "Together tomorrow, we will examine under what conditions this city can be managed without denying our values", alluding to the great game of alliances that will open between forces at the elbow across all eight sectors of the city. And to give immediate appointment to its activists on the Old Port, by launching a poetic: "In Marseille this evening, it is spring in summer. "
Muselier asks elected officials to put their bitterness in the basket
On the LR side, it was hard to hide his disappointment. “I take note of this result which should have been avoided. It does not allow to obtain an absolute majority in the municipal council. I ask all elected officials to put their bitterness in the basket and to give Marseille a perspective, "said Renaud Muselier, LR president of the PACA region, in a press release.
Because as in Paris or Lyon, the election is played here by sectors (eight in total). We will have to wait for the final results of each of them to know the outcome of this second high-voltage round, marred by incidents and especially suspicions of fraudulent false powers of attorney in the LR camp. It will then be necessary to monitor the game of alliances to know the final number of elected officials at the central town hall (51 for the absolute majority), which will lead to the appointment of the new mayor next Friday or Saturday.
At 9:20 p.m., a first Ipsos estimate falls: Olivia Fortin, candidate of Printemps Marseille in the 5th sector, the stronghold of Jean-Claude Gaudin, is given in front of Martine Vassal. New estimate at 10 p.m .: the gap is widening, Vassal would only be 37.7%, Olivia Fortin, one of the founders of Printemps Marseille, would climb to 42.6%. In the Zoumaï craft brewery, a former garage located under Michèle Rubirola's campaign headquarters, we take hope. We applaud.
"If the left passes, it will be a revolution"
Meanwhile, at Martine Vassal's HQ, with a minimalist buffet and without activists present for health reasons, the faces get longer. Good news coming from the 7th sector, where Martine Vassal's candidate would be given the win against the outgoing sector mayor the Stéphane Ravier national rally, is barely enough to cheer up.
"Tonight, I haven't lost, tonight there is no absolute majority, tonight there is no mayor of Marseille," said Martine Vassal shortly after midnight. There is a deadlock that I feared. The question is how to govern Marseille. I give an appointment on Friday, July 3, "she continued, alluding to the date of the election of the successor of Jean-Claude Gaudin by the municipal council.
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If the abstention on the Canebière was higher than at the national level, the participation rate nevertheless recovered a little this Sunday to 35.25% (against 32.76% in the 1st round). Not enough to convince Yassine, crossed in flip-flops and blue towel on his shoulders, back from the Catalan beach. "Voting does not interest me, nothing will change for us", tackles this temporary worker in logistics, who has been hoping for social housing since 2017. What does he think of the outgoing mayor, Jean-Claude Gaudin? : "A good mayor, but here, it's complicated ... You have to know someone or give a ticket to get something ..."
"If the left passes, it will be a revolution," said a merchant in the center, who hoped for a clean-up of local political life. Not necessarily THE revolution, the specter of the “red-green peril” stirred by the right to try to close its ranks, but there will certainly be… a change of era.