Benoit Hamon is now the official socialist candidate for the French presidential election in April 2017. He has won 58,87 per cent of votes against Manuel Valls (41,13 percent of votes).
In London, French people had to be registered on the Consulate electoral list before 31st December 2015 in order to chose a candidate. Also, there was online registration in mid-December 2016 for people who wanted to vote from their computers. The process was unknown by many young French people who had recently arrived in London.
Despite the fact that the French Socialist Party has faced a growing unpopularity during the term of President François Hollande, Noisette Martel, a 23-year-old music student in London, is happy with Hamon’s victory. “I am very satisfied. As a candidate he was a bit of a surprise as he is an outsider. But he represents what I think is a more traditional left-wing point of view.”
A poll released yesterday by Kantar Sofres is putting Marine Le Pen, conservative candidate, as the winner of the first round of the presidential election with around 25 per cent of the votes while Benoît Hamon is predicted to get 15 per cent of the popular vote.
Marine Le Pen repeatedly stated that if she was elected she would fight to obtain the Frexit – asking for France to leave the European Union.
Benoit Hamon is advocating to make changes in the European Union’s policies but said he will “not break it”.
With Brexit coming up, there is some apprehension from French people in London. “It will be more complicated with visas or when it comes to working here,” says Miss Martel. “I already experienced the administrative battles in another country before, I don’t want to live that again.”
But if Marine Le Pen is elected and asks for a Frexit, French Londoners might be in a even harder situation. “The biggest consequence for me would be to not be able to live or travel where I want in Europe,” says Miss Herbeth. “And I would not like the fact that we won’t be part of a collective effort.”