France Voters Set For Crucial Presidential Election Today

France Voters Set For Crucial Presidential Election Today
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Nearly 47 million French voters will head to the polls today (Sunday) for the first round of a bitterly fought presidential election, crucial to the future of Europe and a closely-watched test of voters’ anger with the political establishment.

All projections stipulate a run-off between 48-year-old leader of France’s far-right National Front (FN) Marine Le Pen and the young centrist independent candidate Emmanuel Macron, 39.

The election will be a closely fought contest, particularly between four of the total eleven candidates in the race. The fact that there are 11 candidates may prevent a decisive victory, with many analysts predicting that a vote of over 50 percent, required for an outright win, is unlikely to be achieved by any of the leading contenders.

In the event that no candidate secures an absolute majority, a second round of voting will take place on May 7.

The final result will be announced at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

“It wouldn’t be the classic left vs right divide but two views of the world clashing,” said Ifop pollsters’ Jerome Fourquet. “Macron bills himself as the progressist versus conservatives, Le Pen as the patriot versus the globalists.”

Opinion polls in France have repeatedly suggested that turnout in the first round will be low. Only around 65 percent of the electorate plan to vote, and up to 50 percent of the 47 million voters remain undecided on their vote.

 

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