Recent Survey Shows Paris Mayor Hidalgo Is Losing Popular Support
A new ifop poll suggests Paris's Mayor Anne Hidalgo might face an uphill battle in the next election. According to this survey, which was released in the latest edition of Le Journal du Dimanche, only 42 percent of locals approve of Hidalgo's performance as their mayor.
This latest approval rating for Mayor Hidalgo is 10 percent lower than the same ifop poll conducted in March of 2016. Although that might not seem like a great drop, statisticians at ifop believe it's a major shift in the political climate of Paris.
All of the survey respondents were asked to rank Mayor Hidalgo's performance across a wide range of services. The two areas ifop found Parisians have issues with include the transportation system and cleaning services.
If Mayor Hidalgo wants to secure her lead in the 2020 elections, then ifop suggests she focus all of her attention on transportation reforms. In particular, the mayor must get moving on her efforts to make public transportation more eco-conscious and attractive to locals.
Mayor Hidalgo, who is an unabashed socialist/environmentalist, has made it clear she wants Paris to be the cleanest capital city in the world. To get rid of the city's traffic congestion and cut greenhouse gas emissions, Hidalgo has suggested making public transport free.
City officials are still uncertain where they would make up the money lost through a completely free public transport system. Critics of Hidalgo's proposal frequently point out that public transport users account for at least €3 billion annually into the city government.
In addition to propping up public transportation, Hidalgo has tried her best to discourage the use of cars in the City of Lights. One of her most controversial policies was to block cars from the Berges de la Seine in the 7th arrondissement. Today, the Berges de la Seine only allows pedestrians to walk around the newly created parks.
One of Mayor Hidalgo's greatest mistakes, however, was her failure to deliver on a promise she made for bike hire docks to be installed throughout the city. There were only a little over 110 stations installed in January of 2018, far below her promise of 600. By this time, there should be at least 1,400 bike stations across Paris according to Mayor Hidalgo's proposal.
It isn't only Mayor Hidalgo's transportation policies, however, that have soured her image in the eyes of locals. Many Parisians don't like the mayor's inflexibility and aversion to debating her policies with opposing parties. Politicians have consistently had to remind the Socialist mayor that she is living in a democracy and isn't above the constitution.
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