On a warm Saturday evening in King’s Cross, 30-year-old Alexandre Holroyd is distributing leaflets outside the train station. His campaign literature promises a stronger economy, better security and smart Brexit negotiations. In itself this is not unusual; political parties often target commuter hotspots to grant their pamphlets a wider audience. But Holroyd and the team do not belong to the Conservative Party, nor are they enduring Corbynites. They represent French President Emmanuel Macron’s political start-up: La République En Marche (LREM).
For British politicians seeking to replicate Mr Macron’s middle-ground success, they need look no further than London, where En Marche UK was founded in September 2016 by Ygal El Harrar and the aforementioned Mr Holroyd. The UK branch of Mr Macron’s campaign targets France’s sizeable population here, with 250,000 French citizens living in London alone. They are an eclectic mix of students, blue-collar workers and managerial classes, some new arrivals while others have lived in Britain for decades. Despite these differences, there is one resounding similarity: a majority of them (51.12 per cent) voted for Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the presidential election on the 23 April.