Live updates | Voter turnout low so far in French election
PARIS — Voter turnout is lower than usual in France’s presidential runoff Sunday, apparently reflecting voter frustration with both candidates, centrist President Emmanuel Macron and far-right challenger Marine Le Pen.
Turnout at 5 p.m. Paris time (1500 GMT) stood at 63%, the Interior Ministry said. That was below the 65% at the same time in the last presidential runoff in 2017, when Macron overwhelmingly beat Le Pen, and the 72% in when Socialist Francois Hollande won the presidency in 2012.
Polling agency projections and early official results are expected after final voting stations close in France at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT).
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LE TOUQUET, France — The two candidates for France’s presidential runoff have cast their ballots — and basked in adoring crowds outside their polling stations.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen went first, cheerily greeting election workers in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont, in France’s struggling former industrial heartland. She emerged beaming from the poll booth, eager to drop it in a transparent container. Outside, she took selfies and shared them with her supporters.
The incumbent Emmanuel Macron was next. He shook hands with dozens of people and was given a small child to hold on to as he traveled from his family’s home in Le Touquet, on the English Channel, to his voting station.
Inside he greeted more people, took photographs with Brigitte and cast his vote with a wink to the cameras. The curtains covered the voting booths in the red-white and blue of the French flag.
About 48.8 million voters are eligible to take part in the runoff, which is being watched around Europe. Early results are expected Sunday night.
PARIS — France began voting in a presidential runoff election Sunday with repercussions for Europe’s future.
Centrist incumbent Emmanuel Macron is the front-runner, but he’s fighting a tough challenge from far-right rival Marine Le Pen. The centrist Macron is asking voters for a second five year term. This despite a president plagued by protests and the pandemic in Ukraine. A Macron victory in this vote would make him the first French president in 20 years to win a second term. The result of the vote in France, a nuclear-armed country with one of the largest economies in the world, could have an impact on the conflict in Ukraine. France has played a crucial role in diplomatic efforts and support of sanctions against Russia.
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