French mayors
Research by Brian Baker

ON THIS PAGE: French local government ||| Mayors of largest French cities |||

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Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris

Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of Marseille

Eric Piolle, Mayor of Grenoble

Martine Aubry, Mayor of Lille

Olivier Bianchi, Mayor of Clermont Ferrand

French local government
18 October 2017: Mainland France consists of 36,569 municipalities (communes) in 22 regions. In addition there are 212 communes in French overseas territories. Council elections are held every six years. The last full ones were held in March 2014. The first task of a newly constituted council is to elect a mayor, whose term of office is six years. If a mayor is appointed to another post in government, a deputy performs his/her duties. A mayor’s responsibilities include: Civil registration, culture, economy, education, environment, public order, roads, social welfare, urban planning. Following the elections of President Macron and a new national parliament in 2017, a number of cities elected new mayors.

Despite enormous differences in population, each French commune have a mayor (maire) and a municipal council (conseil municipal) who jointly manage the commune from the mairie (city hall), with exactly the same powers no matter the size of the commune (with the city of Paris as the only exception, where the city police are in the hands of the central state, not in the hands of the mayor of Paris). This uniformity of status is a clear legacy of the French Revolution, which wanted to do away with the local idiosyncrasies and tremendous differences of status that existed in the kingdom of France. French law makes allowances for the vast differences in commune size in a number of areas of administrative law. The size of the municipal council, the method of electing the municipal council, the maximum allowable pay of the mayor and deputy mayors all depend on the population band into which a particular commune falls. FULL ARTICLE ON FRENCH GOVERNMENT

Mayors of the largest French cities
City, size
and website
(Mr, Ms)
Profile &
Aix en Provence
Popl: 142,000
Maryse Charton also known as
Maryse Joissains-Masini (Ms)
Elected 2001, re-elected 2008, 2014 Born 1942
Member of National Assembly
Former university lecturer and lawyer
President of Communaute d’Agglomeration Aix en Provence
Previously member of Regional Assembly
Party: LR (The Republicans)*

Popl: 132,000

Brigitte Fouré (Ms) Elected 2014 Born 1955; University Lecturer;
Party: Nouveau Centre
Popl: 55,000
Jean-Luc Rigaut (Mr) Elected 2007. Re-elected 2014 and in 2017 in a special election following structural change Born 1959: Professional Engineer with SNCF: Former World Champion in Canoeing; President of Grand Annecy regional body since 2017.
Popl: 150,000
Christophe Béchu; (Mr)Party; UDI Elected 2014 Born 1974; Businessman; President of Angers Loire Métropole Urban District;
Party: LR*
Popl: 107,000
Georges Mothron (Mr) Elected 2014. Previously elected 2001 – 2008 Born 1948
Former National Assembly member
Party: LR
Popl: 96,000
Cecile Helle (Ms) Elected 2014 Born 1969
Secured 46.8% beating off a strong National Front challenge
Party: PS* (Socialist Party)
Popl: 117,000
Jean-Louis Fousseret (Mr) Elected 2001. Re-elected 2008, 2014 Born 1946
Technocrat background
Former National Assembly member
President of Grand Besancon agglomeration since 2001
Party: PS*
Popl: 244,000
Alain Juppé; (Mr) Elected 1995-2004; 2006 and again in 2014 Born 1945; Science Po and INA graduate; Currently Minister for Foreign Affairs; Prime Minister 1995-97; Several times minister under Presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy;
Party: LR*
Popl: 117,000
Pierre-Christophe Baguet (Mr) Elected 2008. Re-elected 2014 Born 1955
Member National Assembly
President Val de Seine agglomeration since 2008
Party: LR*
Popl: 139,000
François Cuillandre; (Mr) Elected 2001, 2008; Next elections 2014 Born 1955; Science Po and Law graduate; DOM-TOM Minister 1988; Law lecturer Brest University 1993; President of Brest Métropole Océane Urban District;
Party: PS*
Popl: 107,000
Joel Bruneau Elected 2014 Born 1963
Public official 2002 – 2012
Member National Assembly 2010 – 2014
President Caen la Mer agglomeration
Party: LR*
Clermont Ferrand
Popl: 141,000
Olivier Bianchi; (Mr) Elected 2014 Born 1970
President of Clermont Urban District;
Party: PS*
Laurent Cathala Elected 1977 and six times subsequently including 2014 Born 1945;
Former National Assembly member 1981 - 2017; Served as a Minister in the administration of Edith Cresson and Pierre Beregoy between 1991 and 1993; President of Val-de-Marne Metropolitan Council since 2001; Since 2016 President of the new territory of Grand Paris Sud Est Avenir;
Party: PS
Popl: 153,000;
Francois Rebsamen Replaced Alain Millot in 2015.
Formerly Mayor 2001 – 2014
Born 1951
Member of Government of France 2014-2015
Member of Senate 2008 – 2014
Party: PS*
Popl: 160,000
Eric Piolle; (Mr) Elected 2014 Born 1973
Engineer. Sacked by Hewlett Packard in 2011 for refusing to lead a re-location process.
Regional Assembly member 2010 – 2014
Party: Green
Le Havre
Popl: 172,000
Luc Lemonier (Mr) Elected Depute Mayor 2015 and appointed Mayor 2017 following the selection of Eduard Phillipe to be Prime Minister Born 1968 in Le Havre. Following university graduation worked for global shipping conglomerate Maersk. He has worked for public agencies and became a city council member in 2011. Since 2014 he has been Vice President of du Department de Seine- Maritime and Deputy Mayor of Ville Le Havre until becoming Mayor in summer 2017.
Party; Les Republicans
Le Mans
Popl: 144,000
Jean-Claude Boulard (Mr) Elected 2001, 2008 and agian in 2014 Born 1953
Science Po, Law and ENA graduate; President of Le Mans Urban District;
Party: PS*
Popl: 231,000;
Martine Aubry; (Ms) Elected 2001, 2008 and again in 2014 Born 1950
Science Po and ENA graduate; Minister with various portfolios 1991-2000 (when Minister for Employment initiated the '35-hour working week reforms'); President of Lille Urban District;
Nominated for the 2018 World Mayor Prize
Party: PS*
Popl: 126,000
Emile Roger Lombertie; (Mr) Elected 2014 Born 1951
Psychiatrist; Vice-President Limoges Métropole Urban Disrict;
Party: LR*
Popl: 501,000
Georges Képénékian; (Mr) Nominated in in 2017 after Gerard Collomb was appointed French Interior Minister Born 1949
Georges Képénékian is a urologist by professiion and has served as first deputy mayor of Lyon since 2014
Party: PS*
Popl: 855,000;
Jean-Claude Gaudin (Mr) Elected 1995, 2001, 2008 and again in 2014 Born 1939
Professor of History and Geography; Senator; Town and Country Planning Minister 1995-1997;
Party: LR*
Popl: 119,000
Dominique Gros (Mr) Elected 2008
Re-elected 2014
Born 1943
Member of Moselle Departement Assembly since 1988
Former public official in environmental protection
Party: PS*
Popl: 272 00;
Philippe Saurel; (Mr) Elected 2014 Born 1957
Dentist; President Montpellier Urban District;
Party: DVG*
Popl: 104,000
Patrice Bessac (Mr) Elected 2014 Party: PCF* (French Communist Party)
Popl: 112,000
Jean Rottner (Mr) Elected 2010. Re-elected 2014 Medical physician
Worked as aide to former mayor Jean-Marie Bockel
Party: LR*
Popl: 104.000

Laurent Henart (Mr) Elected 2014 Born 1968
Former member of National Assembly
Party: UDI/Radical Party
Popl: 95,000
Patrick Jarry (Mr) Elected 2004, 2008 and 2014 Born 1954
Politician; President of the Council of Administration de EPADESA since 2013;
Party: FASE / PCF
Popl: 293,000;
Johanna Rolland (Ms) Elected 2014 Born 1979;
Urban First female mayor of Nantes
President of Nantes Metropole since 2014
President of EuroCities 2014 – 2016
Degree in Urban Development Party: PS*
Popl: 342,000;
Christian Estrosi; (Mr) Elected 2008 and again in 2014 Born 1955;
Member of Parliament; President Nice-Côte d'Azur Urban District 2014 - 2017; Government Member 2005-10 with various portfolios (Industry, Urban & Country Planning, etc); reported to have turned down a cabinet post in the new Macron administration in 2017. He told media he was committed to keeping the Front National out of power in Nice.
Party: LR*
Popl: 151,000;
Jean-Paul Fournier (Mr) Elected 2001, 2008 and again in 2014 Born 1945;
Senator; President of Nîmes Métropole Urban District;
Party: LR*
Popl: 114,000
Olivier Carre (Mr) Replaced Serge Grouard in 2015 Born 1961
Member of National Assembly
Party: LR*
Popl: 2,230,000;
Anne Hidalgo (Ms) Elected 2014 Born 1959 in Cadiz, Spain;
The mayor has dual French and Spanish nationality;grew up in a suburb of Lyon and attended Jean Moulin University; worked in the French civil service, primarily in the Labour Inspectorate for 26 years; this was interspersed with periods as a technical advisor to ministers during the Jospin administration; first elected to Paris City Council from the 15th arrondissement in 2001;
Deputy mayor under Bertrand Delanoë; first woman to be mayor of Paris;
Nominated for the 2018 World Mayor Prize
Party: PS*
Popl: 121,000
Jean-Marc Pujol (Mr) Elected 2009. Re-elected 2014 Born 1949
55% in second round
Party: LR*
Popl: 183,000
Arnaud Robinet; (Mr) Elected 2014 Born 1975;
PHD in biochemistry;
Party: LR*
Popl: 94,000
Guillaume Delbar (Mr) Elected 2014 Born 1971;
Business Consultant; Ousted the former PS mayor in a surprise outcome in 2014; President of Hauts De France Regional Council since 2016;
Party: LR
Popl: 211,000;
Nathalie Appéré; (Ms) Elected 2014 Born 1975;
Member of National Assembly from 2012 until 2017;
First female mayor of Rennes after getting 56% of the second round votes in 2014;
Politics degree at Institute of Politics in Rennes in 1996;
Nominated for the 2018 World Mayor Prize
Party: PS*

Popl : 108,000

Yvon Robert; (Mr) Elected 2012 and again in 2014 Born: 1949
Goverenment posts under President François Mitterand;
Party: PS*
Popl: 109,000
Laurent Russier (Mr) Elected 2016 Born 1973
Employed by BNP Paribas in IT. Grew up in Sainte-Etienne. Moved to Saint-Denis in 1997. Was elected to City Council in 2008 and became a Deputy Mayor in 2014. Elected to replace Didier Paillard following his resignation in December 2016. Prominent in the summer 2017 final phase of the successful 2024 summer Olympic Games bid by Paris as all the new facilities will be in the town.
Party: PCF
Saint Etienne
Popl: 172,000;
Gaël Perdriau; (Mr) Elected 2014 Born 1973;
Party: LR*
Popl: 266,000;
Roland Ries; (Mr) Elected 2008, Re-elected 2014 Born 1945;
Member of Senate of France
President of Strasbourg Agglomeration since 2008
President of Cites Unies France 2014 – 2016.
Board member of SNCF
Party: PS*
Popl: 164,000;
Hubert Falco; (Mr) Elected 2001, 2008 and again in 2014 Born 1947
Businessman; Former Secretary of State with various portfolios (Defense, Town and Country Planning, OAPs etc…); President Toulon Provence Méditerranée ; Urban District; Senator;
Party: LR*
Popl: 458,000;
Jean-Luc Moudenc; (Mr) Elected in 2004-08 then again in 2014 Born 1960;
Journalist; educated at the Toulouse University of Social Sciences; told the media in May 2017 that he had turned down an offer of a government position by new Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe. 2017 President of Urban France, the organisation of major cities.
Party: LR*
Popl: 94,000
Didier Droart (Mr) Elected 2017 Born 1948
Elected mayor by municipal council in September 2017 following the appointment of Gerald Darmanin who was elected mayor in 2014 as a Budget Minister in the French Government; member of Lille Metropolitan Council;
Party: LR
Popl: 135,000;
Serge Babary; (Mr) Elected 2014

Born 1946;
Business executive; Vice President du Conseil general for Indre et Loire from 2004 – 2008 and a member from 2001 – 2004 and again since September 2017;
Party: LR*

Popl: 147,000
Jean-Paul Bret (Mr) Elected 2001. Re-elected 2008, 2014 Born 1946
Vice President Region Urbaine de Lyon
Former member of the National Assembly; in September 2017 he announced that he was receiving treatment for Cancer.
Party: PS*
Popl: 92,000
Jean-Claude Kennedy (Mr) Elected 2015 Born 1952; elected by municipal council following resignation of Alain Adoubert who had been mayor since 1996; City Council member since 2002;
Parti: PCF
PS: Parti Socialiste (Socialist Party)
LR: Les Républicains (The Republicans) = centre right party
PCF: Parti Communiste Français (French Communist Party)
UDI: Union des Démocrates et Indépendants (Union of Democrats and Independents) = centre/centre-right party
Radical Party: Parti Radical = centre party

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