London is often described as France’s sixth biggest city because of the estimated 300,000 French nationals who live there.
Proud of their native culture and cuisine, the Gallic expats will now, for the first time, have another link to home by electing their own MP to serve in France’s parliament.
Socialist Axelle Lemaire hopes to win the Northern Europe constituency covering the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia and the Baltic states.
“There are 2.5 million French people who live abroad and this number is increasing year after year,” she said. “And these French citizens abroad don’t have any political representation. As a French person living in London, I don’t get to elect an MP.”
Now that is changing and she will face conservative UMP candidate Emmanuelle Savarit in this weekend’s second round run-off vote.
Asked about the big issues for French voters, Savarit said they were “related to taxation and education, health and also we have all the issues related to the administration, going to the consulate, doing the paperwork.”
Expats further afield will also get a voice in France’s parliament for the first time in this weekend’s legislative polls. In total, 11 MPS will be elected to represent French nationals living right across the planet.