Voting underway for French presidential run-off

Paris, April 24 (IANS) Voting was underway on Sunday in the French presidential run-off in which people will make a choice between incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and his far-right challenger Marine Le Pen as their new leader.
 
Voting underway for French presidential run-off

Paris, April 24 (IANS) Voting was underway on Sunday in the French presidential run-off in which people will make a choice between incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and his far-right challenger Marine Le Pen as their new leader.

Voting began at 8 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 8 p.m., reports Xinhua news agency.

Eligible voters on French overseas territories have already cast their ballots on Saturday.

According to the results of the first round voting on April 10 published by France's Constitutional Council, Macron won 9,783,058 votes, or 27.85 per cent of valid ballots, while Le Pen garnered 8,133,828 ballots, or 23.15 per cent.

During the first round, 35,923,707 voters cast their ballots.

Campaigning for the run-off ended on Friday night and on Sunday evening, regardless of the result, Macron will address the nation from a stage at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

In order to win, Macron and Le Pen, who also contested the presidential run-off in the 2017 election, will need to attract voters who backed other candidates in the first round on April 10, says a BBC report.

"But these are two polarising figures in France, and no votes are guaranteed," the report said.

What remains unclear in these elections is how many voters will refuse to back either candidate, whether by casting a blank ballot or not turning out at all.

Much of France is on holiday and turnout could be historically low, the report noted.

According to opinion polls, voter turnout could be the lowest since 1969.

A Harris/Challenges poll conducted between April 15-18 have projected Macron to win 54.0 per cent votes and Le Pen 46.0 per cent in the run-off.

--IANS

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