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Low turnout so far in the second round of the French presidential election – POLITICO

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Voter turnout was low as France headed to the polls on Sunday in the second round of its presidential election, which pits incumbent President 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 % of voters had voted, about two percentage points less than the 28.2% recorded at this point in the last elections in 2017, when Macron finally won in the second round.

So far, turnout remains just above the all-time low of 26.2% at that time in 2002.

Polling stations close at 8 p.m., when the first exit polls will also be released.

In a repeat of the 2017 election, Macron once again faces Le Pen. Both emerged as the top two candidates in the April 10 first round of voting.

No sitting French president has been re-elected since Jacques Chirac in 2002, but according to POLITICO’s poll, Macron could win 55% of the vote in the second round, 10 points ahead of Le Pen.

The results of today’s election could depend on turnout: Earlier this month, 26% of eligible voters failed to 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 coincide with school holidays in various parts of the country.

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

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