Unless you are a political animal, or French, or a Francophile, you are probably unaware that Wembley played a significant role in the French General Election today, St. Georges day of all days, ironic when you think of some of the jingoistic overtones of Brexit. Of course the local media didn’t think it print worthy.
The former Brent Town Hall is now one of the largest French Schools outside of France and was used as a Polling Station for what is the tightest French Election in living memory. The Wembley Park Quote of the Day (yawn) Board stated that the polling station was opposite ASDA with a brief description of directions.
London is unofficially known as the 4th largest French City – it is estimated around 250,00 French citizens have made London their home. 25 polling stations were opened in South Kensington alone where they expected 50,000 voters to turn up.
So who would they be voting for here in Wembley?
The French will feel as insecure about Brexit as any other EU citizen who has made Britain their home. I doubt they would be voting for Le Pen who is anti EU and vowed to close the borders within 48 hours of taking power. The Hard Left is also anti EU, albeit with a lighter tone. Surely voting Le Pen whilst living in the UK is tantamount to a turkey voting for Christmas?
It is a marvellous thing that so many Polling Stations have been opened up and down the country…it says a lot about us, about the EU and about the close ties we have with the French, which precede the EU by many years in the shape of the Entente Cordiale signed in 1904.
It was quite amusing seeing the sophisticated French electorate mixing with badly dressed Football Fans, here in Wembley for the F.A.Cup Semi Final between Arsenal v Man City.
Wembley is a very much an international destination and played a part in a historical election. I just think it is a shame the local media aren’t in tune with this rapidly changing London outpost, for good and bad.
French London Radio had tweeted that it wasn’t wise to drive to the Wembley Polling Station because the traffic wardens were very busy and BBC Travel had to be informed by me that the traffic was heavy early not just for the Football but for the election.
The turn out at London French polling stations was huge with long queues – the turn out across France was around 80% which frankly puts us to shame. It is heartening to see a queue for an Election…..but this Election was a French Election in Wembley…the home of English Football and everything that goes with England fans with their out of date songs and anti-European sentiment. Who says the French have no sense of humour?
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