Voters face choice of 33 EU election lists

Voters at the European Parliament elections in France on May 26 will have a record choice of 33 different party lists.

This comes as France has moved to a system of single national lists, not regional ones, and with the addition of various newcomers such as lists for gilet jaunes protestors.

This does not however mean you necessarily have to collect 33 different voting bulletins to take into the booth with you when you go to vote at the polling station.

In fact contrary to what is sometimes said, electoral law does not require you to take all of the bulletins with you when you go into the booth to place your chosen bulletin in your voting envelope.

However it is recommended to take several so as to maintain secrecy as to your choice.

It is also possible to vote using a bulletin received at your home or even one printed off the internet if the list of your choice has provided one on a website.

Official information is unclear as to whether it is acceptable to bring just one bulletin with you in this case, however it is also advisable in this case to take more than one.

Polling stations will be open from 8.00 to 18.00 in most French communes apart from certain large cities where the doors will stay open until 20.00.

If you are registered to vote you may do so by bringing either your elector’s card or your passport or ID card.

The traditional political parties are represented by around half of the lists this year and there are three from the gilets jaunes movement.

The more ‘traditional’ lists include:

Renaissance

The list for the government’s party La République en Marche, headed by former Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau. The MoDem party is also represented on this list.

Prenez le pouvoir

The Rasemblement National’s list; the leader of the list is Jordan Bardalla.

Europe Ecologie les Verts

A list for greens; Yannick Yadot is a former campaigns director for Greenpeace.

Union de la droite et du centre

The list for Les Républicains, the centre-right party. Led by a philosopher, François-Xavier Bellamy.

La France Insoumise

Left-wing group led by Manon Aubry, a former spokeswoman for Oxfam France.

Envie d’Europe

A list combining a new party, Place Publique and the Parti Socialiste; led by Raphaël Glucksmann. It says its priorities are ecology and social justice.

Génération.s

Led by Benoît Hamon, who was formerly the Socialist Party presidential candidate in 2017 and held ministerial roles under president François Hollande. It is pro-EU and pro-ecology and aims to bring together some members of the left who have left the old Parti Socialiste.

Le Courage de defendre les français

The list for Debout la France, a right-wing Eurosceptic party, headed by Nicolas Dupont-Aignan

The gilets jaunes meanwhile have three lists called Evolution Citoyenne (Christopher Chalançon), Alliance Jaune – led by singer Francis Lalanne – and Mouvement pour l’initative citoyenne (Gilles Helgen). There is also the Ensemble Patriotes et gilets jaunes list, headed by former Front National vice-president Florian Philippot, who is also joined by a gilet jaune from the Indre, Jean-François Barnaba.

Some of the more unusual options this year also include:

Une France royale au cœur d’Europe – a list for the Alliance Royale royalist party, led by Robert de Prevoisin

Parti Pirate – Despite the unusual name, the ‘pirate party’ has the reasonable-sounding policies of ‘a fraternal sharing of cultural and scientific knowledge of humanity’ and ‘protecting the equality of rights of the citizens’. Led by Florie Marie.

Allons enfants – a list uniquely for people aged under 30, led by Sophie Callaud

Esperanto – Led by Pierre Dieumegard; it wants Esperanto to be the common language of Europe

Urgence Ecologie - led by philosopher and university lecturer Dominique Bourg; wants radical action on ecological problems such as climate change

Parti Animaliste – Hélène Thouy; it aims for more respect for animal rights and opposes the corrida and intensive farming

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