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At least I can vote in this one!

Created: Thursday, 23 May 2019 Written by Mel Aldous

European elections are being held in France on Sunday 26th May.

One of the few frustrations of being a local councillor as a British national is having to man the voting office when I don’t have the right to vote! As a British national, if you have registered on the electoral register, you may only vote for your local council or in the European elections.

The number of seats available in the European Parliament will be reduced, after Brexit, from 751 to 705. 46 of the 73 British seats freed by Brexit will be kept available for possible EU expansion and the other 27 British seats will be allocated to 14 under-represented Member States, 5 of which will be allocated to France. This means that France will have 79 elected officials, instead of 74 today. However, as Brexit has not happened, the 5 extra MEPS will be “ghosts or virtual” without any rights until Brexit. You can imagine how this has gone down in France!

  • Here are a few interesting facts about this month’s elections:
  • The election in France will feature 34 separate electoral lists, a record number at the national level. (For those who are interested you can see these lists, in French, here. https://programme-candidats.interieur.gouv.fr);
  • As the first national election since Macron was elected President, it will be the first major electoral test of his presidency;
  • 2 of the lists will consist of primarily “gilets jaunes”;
  • The youngest candidate is only 23.

I am among some 900 Britons who are currently local councillors in France and who won’t be able to stand at the next local elections in 2020, and I am one of the many that are applying for French nationality to be able to continue this privilege. Unfortunately, the French bureaucracy being what it is, my application is unlikely to be approved before the deadline. So next time I shall be watching from the sidelines!