Alexander Holroyd, seen here with his suppléante (substitute) Laure Philippon, is the newly elected député who will represent French nationals living in north-west Europe but outside of France. M. Holroyd beat his Socialist rival by a massive 70% to 30%. But he himself has something to say about that.
In this circonscription (constituency) less than 18% of registered French voters bothered to make use of les urnes (the ballot box). This, despite the fact that many had the right to vote electronically or by proxy. M. Holroyd is well aware of the problem. When interviewed by the on-line newspaper Le Petit Journal he said this:
Aujourd’hui, les Français de l’étranger restent trop peu mobilisés autour de l’élection de leur représentant au Parlement et il faut que les choses changent. Je serai un élu proche de ses électeurs, sur lequel ils peuvent compter.
[These days, French nationals abroad don’t take enough interest in electing their parliamentary representative and things must change. I will be an elected representative who will stay in touch with voters and one they can count on.]
And what of the other planks in his platform? One is Éducation, éducation, éducation – by which he means support for French-medium schools across the region. Might there be one in Brighton in the not too distant future?
Another is the digitisation of l’adminstration consulaire (admin. within the consulate – which includes the Newhaven office which represents Brighton). A good way of both improving trade and giving cohesion to a very scattered population of French nationals.
And finally, M. Holroyd summed up his intentions for his mandat in five words and a slogan:
Expertise, Europe, Espoir, Reforme et Renouvellement. Le tout en Marche !
And Mme Philippon? Every elected député has a substitute. If M. Hoyroyd is called on to serve in a government (as his predecessor had been), Mme Philippon will remain in the constituency and fulfil the duties of the député.