Presidential: Among French Expats, Amazing Differences in Votes

Posted on April 12, 2022, 14:32Updated on April 12, 2022 at 2:55 PM

Counting and transferring the results of nearly 900 polling stations that depend on more than a hundred embassies or consulates located almost all over the world will have taken some time. Monday evening, hours after the publication of the final results in the country, the Ministry of the Interior was finally able to post online the results of the first round of voting of French people living abroad, highlighting election behavior that is often very different from that of their fellow citizens.

The vote of the 1.43 million expatriates on the electoral rolls was marked for the first time by a record 64.88% abstention, a level even higher than the 56.1% recorded in the first round of the presidential elections in 2017. This figure may seem a sign of disinterest in voting, but it also reminds us that thousands of French people have been denied the right to vote in China, where authorities have imposed extremely strict detentions in several cities. In Shanghai, the 4,500 French adults registered on the lists at the consulate had to remain locked up at home, by order of the regime, like all 25 million inhabitants of the megalopolis.

Macron against Melenchon

After tallying the 498,951 votes cast worldwide, Emmanuel Macron emerged as the preferred candidate of voters outside France. He obtained 45.09% of the vote in the first round ahead of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his 21.92%. Eric Zemmour took third place with 8.67% of the vote, while Yannick Jadot moved up to fourth place (8.17%) ahead of Marine Le Pen (5.29%), Valérie Pécresse (4.2%) and Anne Hidalgo (2.5%). Then follow Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (1.42%), Jean Lassalle (1.2%), Fabien Roussel (0.65%), Philippe Poutou (0.63%) and Nathalie Arthaud (0.26%).

The “choice” for a runoff between Emmanuel Macron and Jean-Luc Mélenchon – different from that chosen by the majority of voters nationally – has forced itself into most countries that are home to large French communities. At polling stations in North America (United States, Canada, Mexico), the outgoing president gets 47% of the vote, while his opponent from La France insoumise gets 22%.

In Japan, the two candidates fetch 33.9% and 30% respectively. The order is the same in Spain, Italy or the United Kingdom. In Ivory Coast or China, voters again made a similar choice.

On the other hand, it is Jean-Luc Mélenchon who leads Emmanuel Macron in several French communities in Africa. In the consular district, which brings together the French from Senegal, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, the left-wing candidate won 38.6% of the vote, against 33.9% for the outgoing president. He also largely dominates the vote in Morocco, where he was born in 1951 – in Tangier – with 40.2% of the vote ahead of Emmanuel Macron’s 37.8%.

Zemmour in Thailand

As the radical right traditionally ranks poorly in the expat community, this time Eric Zemmour managed to take first in a handful of countries. He achieves a particularly high score in Israel, where 53% of voters voted for him after a campaign in which he made several references to his Jewishness, and which he ended by broadcasting the deadly “anti-Semitic” TV sets. attack on Jeremie Cohen. A gesture appreciated by the dual nationalities who settled in the country.

The Reconquête leader also dominated the poll in Russia, where the French community, who had noted before the invasion of Ukraine, his very benevolent speeches to Vladimir Putin , put him in the lead with 26.85% of the vote, ahead of Emmanuel Macron (23.2%). Perhaps even more surprising, the former far-right columnist is making a name for himself in the French community in Thailand. He won 31.9% of the vote for the outgoing president (31.2%).

If a second round is not held to test the voice of French people living abroad, specialists believe that, as in 2017, Emmanuel Macron will largely prevail in the expat community. Five years ago, he won 89.3% of the vote against Marine Le Pen (10.7%).

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