French people in North America vote in second round of legislative elections | 2024 French legislative elections

French people in North America vote in second round of legislative elections | 2024 French legislative elections
French people in North America vote in second round of legislative elections | 2024 French legislative elections

French people living overseas were called to the polls on Saturday in anticipation of the second round of legislative elections that could crown the nationalist far right in France for the first time since World War II.

In Ottawa and Montreal, the French came out in large numbers to vote. Concern was evident among many of them, who fear the National Rally (RN) coming to power after its victory in the first round last week with 33.2% of the vote.

The very tense climate that reigns in France, where dozens of attacks were recorded on Saturday by legislative candidates, is not reassuring.

I think we’re all extremely worried, whether we’re on the right or the left. I think the level of division is pretty incredible.said Franck, a French citizen met at the entrance to the polling station in Ottawa.

One of her fellow citizens who also lives in the Canadian federal capital expressed her concerns about the rise of extremism in her home country.

It’s not just the far right, it’s the extremes. The far left too.explained Geraldine. It’s all worrying, but not really surprising.

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Voters cast their ballots Saturday at the Centre Mont-Royal in Montreal.

Photo : Getty Images / ANDREJ IVANOV / AFP

The extreme that the French in North America fear the most is that of the right. However, the appeal of strategic voting is less strong in their constituency, which includes Canada and the United States, where the second round pits the Macronist Roland Lescure against the leftist candidate Oussama Laraichi.

A trend that is confirmed

Even if the dam against the RN worked in the first round in North America and that the second will be played out between the centre and the left, voters were still numerous in Ottawa.

There are more people here, that’s confirmed.testified Franck Gerbelot-Barillon, assessor at the polling station in Ottawa. : there is a little more [de gens] than last week.”,”text”:”We know that there was more participation in electronic voting, and here we see the trend: there is a little more [de gens] than last week.”}}”>We know that there was more participation in electronic voting, and here we see the trend: there is a little more [de gens] than last week.

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In Montreal, a participation rate of 42% was recorded in the first round.

Photo : Getty Images / ANDREJ IVANOV / AFP

In Montreal, where 75,000 French people are registered to vote in the second round, there was also a lot of coming and going around the polling station.

A turnout of 42% was recorded in the first round, in particular due to the introduction of online voting. According to Yan Niesing, president of the board of directors of the Union française de Montréal, this is the highest turnout in all offices in the province of Quebec and the North American constituency.

I think they [les Français] will confirm the trend and move in large numbers today. Not only to the ballot box, but they also have the opportunity to vote online.

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Report by Aimée Lemieux

Concerns

In the first round in Montreal, 50% of voters voted for Mr. Laraichi, of the New Popular Front. Mr. Lescure, of the Renaissance party, came in second with 28.5%. However, he enjoys a slight lead in the North American riding as a whole in the second round.

Even if the RN was excluded from the first round, the French people we met in Montreal had the same concerns as their fellow citizens in Ottawa.

I have many friends who usually don’t vote and who are coming to vote this time. We are in a huge political crisis and we have the RN who can come to power. There are many people who are extremely worried.

A quote from Anouk, French voter

: we show up, we go. We have to vote en masse”,”text”:”Hatred is at the gates of France, so there is no excuse: we show up, we go. We have to vote en masse”}}”>Hatred is at the gates of France, so there is no excuse: we show up, we go. We must vote en masseFarida said.

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If the RN manages to obtain an absolute majority of 289 elected representatives, Jordan Bardella could be appointed Prime Minister. (Archive photo)

Photo: Getty Images / JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

For Aline, who will soon return to settle in France, the outcome of this election is even more worrying. I am obviously afraid that the extreme right will come to power in France. For me, who is preparing my return to my country, this is something that scares me a lot.

The first election results are expected on Sunday evening around 8 p.m. in France, shortly after the polls close.

Yes, the RN If the government manages to obtain an absolute majority of 289 elected representatives, Jordan Bardella could be appointed prime minister. At 28, he would become the youngest elected representative to hold this position in the country’s history.

If, however, the left and the Macronists manage to defeat Marine Le Pen’s far-right party, a cohabitation will have to be arranged to govern France.

With information from Aimée Lemieux, Félix Pilon, La Canadian Press and Agence France-Presse

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