French citizens in B.C. line up for hours to cast ballots for presidential runoff vote – British Columbia

Once again, French citizens living in B.C. lined up for hours to vote in the second round of their home country’s presidential election in what has been a heated campaign.

Similarly to the first vote late last month, by mid-day the turnout for the run-off had already exceeded expectations. 

“I waited two hours the first time so I knew I’d have to keep myself busy,” said Xavier Moulin, waiting at the French Consulate in Vancouver.

“I have my phone charged and I brought a book. We don’t have a choice, we have to wait.”

French nationals living abroad vote one day before those living in France. The expatriates vote early so as not to be influenced by the mainland results.

French voters wait in line at their consulate in Vancouver. There are 4,000 French citizens in B.C. (CBC)

The final figures for the first vote last month for 11 candidates had centrist Emmanuel Macron earning 23.75 per cent of the vote and far-right leader Marine Le Pen at 21.53 per cent. 

In B.C. alone, 40 per cent of the vote went to Macron and only seven per cent to Le Pen. 

The latest polls suggest Macron will ultimately win. Still, many of the French expatriates in Vancouver expressed concern about a potential win for the far-right in France. 

“I think it’s very important even if we all think that Macron will probably win that it’s important that we be out in full force,” said Fanny Boulesteix.

“And we can never be certain of how the election results will turn out.”

Many in Vancouver’s French community are expected to meet Sunday morning at Moonpennies Cafe, near the French Consulate, to watch as the election results come in. 

With files from Johann Nertomb and Chad Pawson

French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN) party, Marine Le Pen (L) and French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement, Emmanuel Macron pose prior to the start of a live brodcast face-to-face televised debate. (Eric…

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