In our Minute Papillon
, we go to interview French people living abroad, a few days before the first round of the 2022 presidential election. How are they living this electoral campaign, sometimes far from the territory?
Are they interested in the presidential election?
While a strong abstention is feared in France and overseas, will these expatriates go to vote?
On January 1, 2022, 1,614,772 French people were registered in the register of French people living outside France, compared to 1,775,875 French people on January 1, 2020, before the Covid-19 crisis.
As registration in this register is not compulsory, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates the overall number of French people living abroad at around 2.5 million.
French people living outside France mainly settle in Europe and North America.
An uninteresting campaign, seen from abroad?
Julie is one of those expats in San Francisco, USA.
The presidential election is not the most important election in the eyes of this mother who has lived in California for 20 years.
She does not feel concerned by the candidates' proposals on purchasing power, security or immigration.
But she is keeping a close eye on this campaign.
Benjamin, residing in Belgium, regrets for his part an electoral campaign overshadowed by the war in Ukraine.
This 46-year-old father deplores that the candidates "did not present [correctly] the projects they want for France".
Dorian, a young Franco-Belgian, points to outdated party communication.
"There is no development in five years... Without doing research, it is always quite difficult to learn about the program of each other", underlines the young man.
Abroad, abstention is the first course
When they live outside France, the French generally travel much less to vote.
In the 2017 presidential election, the abstention rate among these expatriates was nearly 56% in the first round, then 54% in the second round, according to the Ministry of the Interior.
While throughout France, the overall rate was 22.23% in the first round, then 25.44% in the second round of this election.
Marie-France, who has lived in Montreal (Canada) since 1972, feels this lack of interest.
Since leaving France, she has never voted in national elections.
Tired of French politics, she thinks it makes more sense to vote for Canadian elections than for French ones.
A situation unlike Géraldine, who lives in Dallas, in the United States.
This French teacher believes that, more than a right, voting is a moral duty.
She has hardly ever missed an election since living across the Atlantic.
Listen to all the testimonies of French people living abroad in this episode, by clicking in the player above.
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is an original podcast of 20 Minutes.
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Presidential election 2022
French from abroad
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20 Minute Podcast