Saturday, 9 June 2012

France to get a new MP for northern Europe

As well as the legislative elections on the 10th and 17th June, French citizens in the UK will also get the first ever opportunity to have an expat represent them in overseas constituencies.  The northern Europe constituency seat created by Sarkozy will comprise the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia and the Baltic states.  There are a sizeable number of French citizens living within the UK, with over 120,000 officially registered at the French consulates in London and Edinburgh, with unofficial estimates putting that figure nearer 400,000.  Approximately half of the registered French citizens live in London.

Polls show that 54% of French citizens abroad voted for Sarkozy.  However in the UK this trend was reversed with 52% of French voters here choosing Hollande.  The socialist candidate Axelle Lemaire is based in London otherwise known as France’s sixth city, so this puts her in strong campaigning territory.  The key issues for Lemaire are school places for parents who would like their children educated in French schools and public sector workers, issues that resonate well with French voters in London.

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