HomeEuropeLow turnout so far in second round of French presidential vote

Low turnout so far in second round of French presidential vote

Voter turnout was low as France headed to the polls Sunday in the second round of its presidential election, which pits incumbent Emmanuel Macron against far-right challenger Marine Le Pen.

Figures released by the country’s interior ministry show that as of 12 p.m. local time, 26.4 percent of voters had cast a ballot — about two percentage points lower than the 28.2 percent registered by this point during the last election in 2017, when Macron ultimately won in the second round.

Participation so far remains narrowly above the record trough of 26.2 percent at this time in 2002.

The polls close at 8 p.m., which is when the first exit polls will also be published.

In a repeat of the 2017 elections, Macron is once again facing off against Le Pen. Both emerged as the top two candidates in the first round of voting on April 10.

No sitting French president has been reelected since Jacques Chirac in 2002, but according to POLITICO’s Poll of Polls, Macron could recieve 55 percent of the second-round vote, 10 points clear of Le Pen.

The results of today’s election may depend on voter turnout: earlier this month 26 percent of eligible voters didn’t turn out in the first round of voting. The perception of Macron as the inevitable winner may hamper turnout, and it doesn’t help that the elections are coinciding with school holidays in various parts of the country.

Nearly 49 million people are eligible to vote in today’s election.

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