Opinion: The French battle for London

The forthcoming Mayoral election is certainly the contest that London is currently focusing on; however, scratch beneath the surface and there is a quiet but equally fiercely fought election taking place. June sees the French Parliamentary Elections which for the first time include eleven overseas parliamentary seats; the 3rd constituency is a whopping 1.5 million square miles area, from Greenland to Lithuania, encompassing every Nordic & Baltic countries, Ireland and the UK. London is however where most of the French expats in this constituency reside and therefore the epicentre of this election.

I am standing for the Mouvement Democratique (MoDem) Party, the French sister Party of the Liberal Democrats. The main problems I face are those that any Liberal Democrat member who has campaigned will be able to relate to; competing against larger, better funded parties who dominate the airwaves and receive more media attention.

Campaigning is also made difficult, as unusually for most elections, almost all the people I pass in the street are not eligible to vote. Targeting areas with a high density of French people is key, the other day I handed out leaflets outside the French bank Société Générale. I have also made it a priority to meet and speak to all the large French communities within the constituency.

Campaigning in Trafalgar Square at the Francophone Festival

My main election theme is improving the quality of education and making it more accessible to lower income families. French citizens abroad have to pay high fees if they want their children to go to a French speaking school; I want to make it something that is an option for every French child abroad regardless of financial circumstances.

I believe that MoDem has a real opportunity to push the centrist agenda in the forthcoming French Parliament. Getting the MoDem agenda out to French people around Europe is not easy, I am grateful that I have the support of Liberal Democrats such as French speaking MP Tom Brake.

 

 

If you have a French friend, who lives in the UK, remind them that that they can vote and that MoDem represents the real opportunity for changes in France.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and Op-eds.
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8 Comments

  • Minor editing point – you seem to have repeated the first paragraph again in the second paragraph

  • Richard Dean 28th Mar '12 - 5:15pm

    Of course I will encourage every Frenchman I meet to vote for you. From what you write, I suppose that France has parliamentary constituencies whose geographical areas are outside France. We do not do that in the UK. If you have time, could you briefly outline what you see as the advantages and disadvantages of having overseas constituencies? Do French nationalis living abraod pay tax in France? Thanks!

  • Richard Dean 28th Mar '12 - 5:15pm

    … and of course Frenchwoman!

  • >I am standing for the Mouvement Democratique (MoDem) Party, the French sister Party of the Liberal Democrats.

    Interesting to read that. I thought Bayrou sounded* Lib Dem-ish (!)
    *on Europe Un

  • Bon chance Yannick.

    Aimeriez-vous visiter Douvres? Il ya quelques personnes françaises dans notre région. Nous sommes plus près de Calais que Londres, après tout!

  • Please could we have a leaflet/letter that we can download and print to give to our French friends.

  • it is not because we are in the UK that we are millionaire do not tax our income twice or penalise us because we have a home in France. It is our pension. Because pensions in England are so bad xxx

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