This is Alexandre Holroyd, potentially the new M.P. (député) who will represent French nationals living in Brighton and Hove – as well as those across a vast swathe of north-west Europe.
No surprises as to which political party Mr Holroyd represents. It is Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche! As one of the founders of the British branch of the party, Mr Holroyd was a prime candidate to be a candidate once Mr Macron was in power. Like Mr Macron, he has a business background and is relatively new to politics. Mr Holroyd did not even figure in the list of candidates for this constituency until 11 May 2017, just a few days after Mr Macron was elected President of France.
Mr Holroyd’s result was impressive. In the 2012 French parliamentary elections, the Socialist candidate and outgoing députée, Axelle Lemaire, gained 30% of the votes in the first round, 9% ahead of the Centre Right candidate. As no candidate gained over 50% of the votes in 2012, there had to be a second round in which the top two contenders stand against each other. Mme Lemaire won comfortably with 54%.
In 2017, having won 57.8% of votes cast, Mr Horoyd would seem to be the outright winner of the seat. Mme Lemaire, his nearest rival, garnered a mere 10%. So why is he the “potential” future incumbent? This is what has to happen next…
Virtually across the globe, the abstention rate amongst French ex-pats is around 80%. The power-that-be have therefore decreed that even those candidates with more than 50% in the first round also have to have a number of votes equivalent to 25% of registered voters (les inscrits). Mr Holroyd received a little over 14 000 votes (voix). The number of inscrits in this constituency is nearly 121 000. Mr Holroyd does not have the 30 000 votes necessary for him to be elected automatically (d’office). It looks as if there will have to be a rather pointless second round on 18 June.