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Results First Round French Parliamentary Elections - Northern Europe
Two women will be facing each other in the second round of the elections to become the first MP to represent the French living in Northern Europe at the French parliament. Just under 90,000 people were registered to vote and only 20.8% exercised their right. Interestingly enough, for the first time voters had been able to vote online and 16.2% opted for this option. The abstention level was particularly bad in London where only 18.4% used their vote. This was probably made worse by the long Jubilee weekend, the children’s half term and the appalling transport conditions on Sunday when the Jubilee pageant was taking place on the Thames. Could it also simply be that the election had not achieved the interest level that one would have hoped given that this was the first time ever that the French living abroad were being given a chance to elect someone to represent them at the French Parliament.
Many candidates complained of the difficulty in targetting their electorat given the size of the territory and the lack of media coverage.
Axelle Lemaire (Socialist Party) came first with 30.2% of the votes. Emmanuelle Savarit (UMP) was some way behind with only 21.6% of the votes. As for Olivier Cadic (Alliance Centriste) and Olivier Bertin (Europe Ecologie/Les Verts) who both already represent the French at the ‘Assemblée des Francais de l’Etranger’ they were 3rd and fourth with 11.3% and 10.3% respectively. Yannick Naud (Modem) achieved 6.2% and Gaspard Koenig (Parti Liberal) 4.4%.
It is worth noting that out of the 20 candidates running in these elections, only 5 of them managed to get the minimum 5% of the votes to have their campaign costs reimbursed.
Many were surprised to see that Emmanuelle Savarit had managed to reach the second round as she had avoided all along her campaign any of the debates organised by various groups when all the other main candidates were taking part.
She had been heard saying that she was waiting for the second round of the elections. This could lead us to believe that people were voting for a party rather than for the person running.
Let's hope that the Français de l'étranger will turn up in greater numbers to elect their MP and make their voice heard on 17th June.