Paris votes in first woman mayor

Socialist Anne Hidalgo became the first woman mayor of Paris in a run-off election against Nathalie Krosciusko-Morizet in the municipal elections across France on Sunday 30 March.

Despite the low turnout and the overwhelming victory of the central-right and far-right parties in almost all other municipalities Hidalgo had an easy victory, winning by nearly 55 per cent of the vote. In the voting on 23 March her opponent had just scrapped the top position in a six-candidate race.

Until now Hidalgo has been the deputy mayor of the city and during her term of office proved an efficient, no-nonsense administrator. Her opponent was a one-time environmental minister in the government of former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Hidalgo was born in Catalonia in Spain, moved with her parents to a low-income suburb of Lyon in her infancy and became a French national at the age of 14.

She was tipped to become a minister in the François Hollande government in 2012 but decided to remain as deputy mayor of the capital.

Hidalgo has promised major investment in housing, public transport, the environment and schooling for the very young.

The mayor of Paris is not voted in by a direct vote but by the 163 members of the city council. The Socialists and their Green allies are expected to get 93 of the council seats to the 70 for the centre-right. The position of mayor of Paris is often seen as a jumping board for the presidency of the country.