The French vote in the first round

The polling stations have opened this Sunday at 8:00 in the France metropolitan area for the first round of the presidential elections, with the specter of high abstention and the candidates Emmanuel Macron Y Marine LePen What favorites to go to the second round, on April 24.

The first candidate to vote has been Anne Hidalgo, of the Socialist Party, which according to the polls will obtain a very poor result. For your part Jean-Luc Mélenchonthe candidate of France Insumisa (left) has cast his vote in Marseille and the representative of Los Republicanos (conservative right), Valerie Pecressehas also already voted in a town near Paris.

Later and at the same time, although in different places, the two far-right candidates did so, Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour.

A total of 48.8 million citizens They are summoned to the polls to choose between twelve candidates. Le Pen has closed distances with Macron and, according to latest polls released on friday, the president has a slim margin of between two and three points in both the first and second rounds. Five years ago, both candidates were the protagonists of the last duel, in which Macron won with 66.10% of the votes, while the second ended with 33.90%.

Elections France: Anne Hidalgo, of the Socialist Party, is the first candidate to vote – See now

Polls will remain open until 7 p.m. in most of France and until 8 p.m. in big cities.

In practice, the first French electors to go to the polls were those from Saint Pierre et Miquelon, an archipelago in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland with 10,000 inhabitants, who voted on Saturday at 10:00 GMT. Then it was the turn of the Antilles, Guiana and Polynesia.

The French registered in the registers of the foreign consulates (there are about 1.8 million) can go to vote there or at the embassies.

High abstention is expected

One of the keys of this day could be in the level of abstention, which during the last part of the campaign was predicted to be very higha trend that seems to be confirmed in French Polynesia, where after four hours of voting the turnout was only 12.34%, compared to 22.24% at the same time in the 2017 elections.

In France it is The publication of any result, partial or final, is prohibited.until the closing of the last schools at 8:00 p.m. local time and that is when the media will release the first estimates based on exit polls.

In accordance with the health protocol established for these elections, It is not mandatory to wear a mask or keep your distance that were required at the height of the COVID crisis, although the Government recommends it for some people in a vulnerable situation and especially if they are infected.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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