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French people in Canada and the United States called to choose between the center and the left

Photo: Ludovic Marin Agence France-Presse Roland Lescure, currently Deputy Minister of Industry and Energy in the government of Gabriel Attal, is the candidate of Ensemble pour la République, President Macron's party, in the 1st electoral district of French people established abroad .

Felix Étienne

Published at 10:51 a.m. Updated at 10:26 p.m.

  • Europe

The outgoing member of parliament from the French diaspora in North America, Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate for Industry and Energy in the government of Gabriel Attal (centre), came out on top in the first round of the legislative elections with 39% of the vote among French people in Canada and the United States. He is closely followed by the candidate of the New Popular Front (left), Oussama Laraichi, who obtained 36% of the popular vote. The two men are facing off this week in the second round, the results of which will be known on Sunday.

On the national level, the surprise election called by President Emmanuel Macron on June 9 saw the National Rally (RN, far right) come first in the first round last Sunday, ahead of the New Popular Front and Ensemble pour la République, the party of President Macron, which came in third position.

France is one of the rare countries where expatriate citizens are represented by deputies in Parliament.

The results of the first round of 2024 are quite similar to those of the previous legislative elections in 2022. In the first round, Mr. Lescure then obtained 36% of the votes, against 33% for his left opponent, Florence Roger. The National Rally, however, is experiencing strong progress: its candidate, Jennifer Adam, then obtained only 2% of the votes in the first round, compared to 11% of the votes this year.

According to data published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and compiled by Le Devoir, Roland Lescure won the most votes among French expatriates in the United States, with 48% of the vote, compared to 26% for Oussama Laraichi. Conversely, the latter came out on top in Canada with 47% of the vote, compared to 29% for the outgoing MP. A somewhat ironic situation, given that Mr. Lescure lived in Montreal for nine years and his left-wing opponent currently lives in Chicago.

It should be noted that citizens domiciled in Mexico are part of another constituency that includes the other countries of the Americas.

Towards the second round

“By excluding the National Rally and its allies from the first round, you forcefully rejected the division and hatred that their representatives propagate,” Roland Lescure published on social networks on Tuesday, before calling on voters to choose “a coherent and credible economic framework” rather than the “untenable promises and magic money” that he associates with the program of the New Popular Front.

In view of the second round, the outgoing MP has also received the support of Xavier Bertrand, former minister of ex-president Sarkozy, and of former prime minister Édouard Philippe, expected candidate for the 2027 presidential election. Roland Lescure also called voters from the rest of France to “block the extreme right without qualms”, even if it means supporting the candidates of the New Popular Front in the second round.

At the time these lines were written, Mr. Lescure had not yet been available to grant us an interview.

“We are galvanized by the result, we are in a pocket handkerchief with M. Lescure! » declared to DevoirWednesday Osama Laraichi. The left-wing candidate immediately returned to campaigning for the second round. After holding an activist rally in Quebec on Tuesday evening, Mr. Laraichi spoke to his supporters in Montreal on Wednesday in a bar in the Rosemont district. He was due to return to Chicago on Thursday to spend the end of the campaign in the company of his loved ones.

For her part, far-right candidate Jennifer Adam was particularly stood out in the French communities of Miami and Quebec. With 27% of the vote, she finished in second place in Miami, behind Roland Lescure (41%), but ahead of Oussama Laraichi (12%). However, she came in third place, with 21% of the vote, in our national capital, behind Mr. Laraichi (41%) and Mr. Lescure (24%). Ms. Adam is not qualified for the second round.

Mr. Laraichi was pleased to see several Québec solidaire activists and elected officials, including Sol Zanetti and Ruba Ghazal, supporting his election campaign. “Left-wing ideas have no borders, it’s normal and reassuring to see Quebec allies concerned about the rise of the far right,” he said. The RN candidate’s substitute, Aurélien Nambride, instead denounced this situation to The Canadian Press, calling it “foreign interference.”

French people in Canada and the United States called to choose between the center and the left

Photo: Photo provided by Solège Tanguay Oussama Laraichi held a rally on the steps of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church in Quebec City on July 2.

High turnout

The unprecedented enthusiasm for the French legislative elections continued across the Atlantic. The turnout rate of voters living in the 1st electoral district of French citizens living abroad rose to 36% in the first round of the legislative elections. This is a record for a district where the turnout rate has been around 20% since 2012. Voter turnout was particularly strong in Montreal and Quebec City, reaching 42% and 38% respectively.

Electronic voting, possible since the 2022 elections, proved very popular this year, although several voters reported having difficulty connecting to the voting platform. According to data from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nearly 77,000 voters voted electronically, while around 18,000 went to the polling stations.

French immigrants have been able to vote online since Wednesday at 6 a.m. (Montreal time) and had until noon on Thursday. Those who prefer to vote at the ballot box can do so on Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. In Montreal, the polling station will be located at the Center Mont-Royal, and in Quebec, at Stanislas College.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116